statement by Reverend Macfarlan Pheneti, Member of Parliament, MP

Today I resigned from the National Party to join the United Democratic Movement. I joined the UDM, the only party that brings South Africans irrespective of race, gender, or religious believes together in one political home.

I was elected to the National Parliament in 1994 to represent the National Party. I was convinced at the time that the National Party was sincere in its efforts to bring South Africans together and that there was a change of heart in the NP. However, today I must admit that I, together with many other people of colour was misled.

The National Party has lost its will, ability and commitment to reach out and attract new voters of substance. Under the new leadership of the National Party the NP is caught up in a situation where it is controlled by a white, Afrikaner, male kabaal who take decisions, highly centralized, and enforce them. (Read Marthinus van Schalkwyk and a small band of men).

No black person in the party holds any real position of power or influence. Many opportunities where people of colour could either be appointed or elected in positions did arise, but the NP chooses to ignore them.

Black people in leadership positions within the National Party are nothing more than convenient symbols of window dressing the party. The NP leadership does not take them seriously and a “master servant” situation prevails. Under the current leadership of the National Party, the NP will disappear from the political scene.

I can no longer be dishonest with myself, my family and with the South African voter public. I call on my fellow colleagues in the black caucus of the National Party to seriously reconsider their positions, stop living a lie, and find themselves a political home where they can find fulfillment. It is for this reason that I today announce my resignation and subsequently the vacation of my position as Member of Parliament to provide my services to the UDM on a voluntary basis.