By Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP

I refer to the Department of Arts and Culture, the Department of Women, and the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government’s hosting of the National Women’s Day celebrations at ABSA Stadium on 9 August 2014 at the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality which was later changed to King Zwelithini Stadium.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM), however with regret notes that the representatives of other political parties were treated as mere window dressing. The provisions of the policy in this regard, where representatives of other political parties participate in the programme, were undermined during this state function. A clear bias was shown with only the ruling party that was acknowledged and was allowed to address the gathering.

We saw women in full ruling party’s women’s league regalia, it was like and ANC Women’s League rally. Since the adoption of the relevant policy, this was anomalous. This speaks to a matter that the UDM has raised time and again i.e. that there must be clear distinction between state and party.

This situation makes us wonder why we should continue to honour and respect national events organised by government if the very regulatory framework governing such events are not respected by government. The UDM believes that unless this situation is corrected there will be no reason for it to be associated with abuse of public funds by the ruling party in the name of official state events.

In conclusion, the UDM proposes that you conduct an urgent investigation into this matter, and pronounce on whether government policy has changed or there are other policies by the ministers. In the event the policy you pronounced remains in force, do indicate what actions are to be taken to rectify the situation before the next event. We await your kind response.