Joint media statement about South African political landscape by Roelf Meyer and Bantu Holomisa of the UDM and Tony Leon of the Democratic Party

The leaders of the DP and the UDM held a meeting during the past week in which an overview of the present political situation in the country was undertaken. Both parties confirmed their viewpoints that an over-dominant one party state was detrimental to the interests of South Africa and the need exists for vibrant opposition. Both agreed on the further need for a restructuring of the political scene in South Africa.

Developments during 1997 have been a positive start in this regard but the process is far from complete. Any restructuring needs to be based on breaking the existing racial mould in which our politics is cast and on the establishment of political values based on shared principles. The principles in the Constitution requiring national unity, the development of multi-party democracy and serving of the national interest are key indicators in this regard, but any political movement also requires a shared economic, political and social vision.

With this in mind, the UDM and the DP will in the new year focus on how these principles can be advanced by the two parties. For this purpose the Joint Committee established earlier between the two parties will be re-activated early in the new year. A meeting is planned where the state of the nation will be evaluated and further planning is undertaken.