Statement by the National Deputy Secretary

The UDM is deeply disturbed by the killing of three of its members in the Western Cape, during the past 24 hours. The President of the UDM together with all UDM leaders and members of the party would like to express its deepest sympathy to the families of the deceased, the wounded and the community.

The political intolerance that is demonstrated through these kind of brutal actions is unacceptable in a young, fragile developing democracy like our own. The systematic killings of UDM leaders remind one of the assassinations of IFP leaders in KwaZulu Natal before the 1994 elections. All political parties and role players in democracy must condemn political connected incidents such as these in the strongest possible terms. The ANC as governing party must be careful to point fingers and allocate blame like they did yesterday morning after the killing of an ANC councillor. All political parties, including the governing party, should display maturity and responsibility in dealing with such sensitive matters. By making wild and unsubstantiated allegations, the lives of innocent people are put in danger.

The UDM is perturbed by the threat that these type of actions so early in the campaign holds for the possibility of running free and democratic elections. The UDM calls on all political parties, the Independent Electoral Commission and institutions of civil society, committed to democracy, to speak out against these kinds of actions. The UDM asks that you add your voice to ours in calling for an independent investigation into these and other related incidents. Every victim is a reminder of our failure as democrats to act decisively with these matters, failing our responsibility to develop and protect democracy in South Africa. The UDM will work tirelessly in achieving free democratic activity in our country. We will not fail the electorate.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 10 March, the President of the UDM, Bantu Holomisa will visit the families of the victims and address the community. He will meet with the police investigating these brutal killings and will raise with them the community and our concern of bias actions by the police.