Letter by UDM President Bantu Holomisa to Coalition Opposition Party

Rev Kenneth Meshoe, MP

President, African Christian Democratic Party


Mr Mosiuoa Lekota, MP

President, Congress of the People


Mr Mmusi Maimane, MP

Leader, Democratic Alliance


Dr Pieter Groenewald, MP

Leader, Freedom Front Plus


Dear Colleagues


1.    The United Democratic Movement (UDM) National Executive Committee (NEC) met on Saturday, 5 August 2017.

The NEC expressed serious reservations about the manner with which the Democratic Alliance (DA) treats the UDM in dealing with the situation at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM).

2.    The UDM NEC expressed its intense dislike of the DA’s style and manner of operation which undermine the Coalition and the decisions we had taken, at the highest level, to resolve the situation concerning Councillors Trollip and Bobani.

The findings of the three-person team remain that both Councillors Trollip and Bobani were fingered by the findings of the investigation, Yet, the DA seems to think that it is above those decisions and want to unilaterally force the UDM to comply. Why is the DA not taking action against Councillor Trollip? This is a double standard.

In the end, the Co-governance Agreement makes provision for a conflict resolution mechanism and we have followed those prescriptions to the letter. Why is the DA operating like “big-brother” outside these provisions? They are not only attacking the UDM directly, but also actively undermining the collective leadership of the Coalition Partners.

3.    In addition, we take a dim view of the underhanded scheme to have Cllr Marlon Daniels (from the Patriotic Alliance (PA)) move for a motion of no-confidence against Deputy-Executive Mayor Bobani. We wonder at this PA/DA “side-marriage”, which seems to be outside the Co-governance Agreement? How is this relationship managed? Is the PA being swallowed by the DA? How can Councillor Daniels, who is not a Coalition Partner, be aware or have information about the allegations that Councillor Bobani is destabilising the Coalition?

4.    The DA is acting in such a hypocritical manner. We are reminded that, at the first council meeting in the City of Johannesburg, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) insisted that they would not work with the DA, should it go ahead with the appointment of Councillor Herman Mashaba as Executive Mayor. The DA told the EFF they would not be dictated to by another political party; yet in this instance the DA wants to dictate to the UDM? Yet another double-standard.

5.    To make matters worse, in a recent City Press article, DA leader Musi Maimane, said about Cllr Bobani: “…that a preliminary investigation into the deputy mayor showed prima facie evidence of corruption.” The UDM has not been privy to this “preliminary investigation”; which begs the question whether any of the Coalition partners have seen it?

The City Press also reported that: “Maimane said the DA had repeatedly appealed to the UDM national leadership to replace Bobani with another candidate, but the party refused to do so, signalling a tolerance for corruption which infringed upon the coalition agreement.”

On the 22nd of August, in a meeting of the leaders of coalition in Cape Town, Maimane asserted that the DA has a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) which implicates Bobani in maladministration. The leaders of the coalition demanded to be given this report. The PricewaterhouseCoopers report was only delivered yesterday, the 23rd of August, and we are still yet to see a line that implicates Bobani on corruption.

The DA has gone rogue in the worst manner possible. Going to the media and saying that the UDM tolerates corruption is tantamount to defamation. Making these damaging statements about the UDM in the media is also in contravention of the Co-governance Agreement. Why must we tolerate this?

6.    The UDM NEC decided that should these matters not be put to rest once and for all, the UDM will review its decision to be part of the NMBMM coalition.

As a result of the DA’s dirty tricks campaign against Bobani and the UDM, today Deputy Mayor Bobani was irregularly removed from his post. In light of the DA’s stance, we have no option but to inform you that the decision of the UDM’s NEC must be put into immediate effect. In other words, if Bobani is not reinstated to his position by the 28th of August, the UDM will pull out.

Yours sincerely

Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President