Bantubonke Holomisa was born the son of Tembu Chief Bazindlovu Holomisa on 25 July 1955 in the Mqanduli district of Transkei. After attending the Upper Ngqungqu Primary School in Mqanduli, he proceeded to the Jongilizwe College for the Sons of Chiefs and Headmen in Tsolo, Transkei, where he matriculated in 1975. Apart from the usual matriculation subjects, he obtained an additional Diploma in Leadership, with the subjects of current events, conduct of public affairs, public administration, English, African law (then called Bantu law, using the university-prescribed textbook by Seymore on the subject), typing and office routine.
Major General (Retired) Bantu Holomisa co-founded the United Democratic Movement in 1997 with Mr Roelf Meyer. Mr Holomisa serves as the UDM’s President.
Bongani Msomi was born in Durban and matriculated at Swelihle High School in Umlazi, KwaZulu Natal. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree, Senior Teacher’s Diploma and Bachelor of Education (B-ED) from the University of Zululand. He also holds a Project Management Diploma from Damelin.
As a student he became involved in politics and was tasked to build and organise several progressive organisations. Mr Msomi is a co-founder member of the UDM and has served as the leader of the Province in KwaZulu-Natal for many years. In 2004 he became a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature (MPL) until 2009. In this period he served in many portfolio committees as well as being chairperson of the Sports and Recreation portfolio committee.
In 2005 he was elected as the Party’s National Chairperson and has served as the UDM’s Secretary General for a number of years. Mr Msomi currently serves as the Party’s National Chairperson
National Deputy Chairperson: Mr Humphrey Nobongoza
Humphrey Nobongoza was born in Tsomo and matriculated at the Cofimvaba High School in Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape. He is busy with a BA degree at the University of Walter Sisulu University and has earned a Diploma in Public Service Management from the Swedish Institute of Public Service Management. He has several years’ experience in the public service in various positions and ended his career as the Chief Director in the Office of the Premier of the Eastern Cape.
He has served as the Party’s National Chairperson, as well as Secretary General, but currently fulfills the duty a Deputy National Chairperson.
Yongama Zigebe is an award-winning young politician having won the South African Politicians Award, Young Leader Award in 2017 up against Honourable Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Mduduzi Manana and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. A recipient of the Believers Love World Southern Africa Awards, Most Influential Young Person of 2018. Nominee for the 2019 Young African Leaders (YALS) Awards on the Male Politician of the Year Award alongside winner Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu known as (Bobbi Wine) President of National Unity Platform an opposition party in Uganda. A Royal Commonwealth Fellow for the Queens Young African Leaders 2018 to 2021. Yongama Zigebe is a Non-Executive Director on the JCPZ board of directors in 2021 and 2023.
Yongama became involved in various projects from when he was in high school. He joined Get Real Youth with Mission in 2003 as a part time administrator for holiday school programmes, where they gather young children on the streets and encourage them to play sports and indigenous games, engage them in edutainment activities in order to curb drug and substances abuse, teenage pregnancy, HIV and AIDS and all other social ills facing young people. His involvement and passion for change earned him a seat in the organisation’s board within a year of joining the organisation.
Zandile Phiri hails from Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape. She was a student leader during her time of studying towards a national diploma at the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in the Eastern Cape and served in various roles on the Students Representatives Council (SRC). She is a recipient of the Best Debate Team award at WSU. Ms Phiri is also a recipient of the Best Organiser award, SRC Academic Excellence Award and the Outstanding Leader Award.
She currently serves as one of the UDM’s Deputy Secretary Generals.
Thandi Nontenja grew up in Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape and matriculated at the Colana High School in Mount Frere. Cllr Nontenja has several diplomas in bookkeeping, accounting and business management, as well as political leadership. She ended her career in the business sector when she was elected as a city councillor for the United Democratic Movement of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Council in 2006, 2011 and 2016. Cllr Nontenja has been very active in women’s organisations and is a member of People Opposing Women Abuse.
She currently serves as the National Treasurer of the UDM.
Lennox Gaehler was born in Mthatha and received his education at Excelsior High School in Mthatha, Eastern Cape. He has qualified himself with a Diploma in Building Industry and, over the past thirty years, has become a highly successful businessperson in the construction industry.
He has served the United Democratic Movement as Chairperson of the Eastern Cape Provincial Structure and currently serves as the UDM’s National Fundraiser.
Nyaniso Hamilton Mfihlo was born in Engcobo in the Eastern Cape on 12 August 1973. He matriculated at Gwarubana High School in 1994. He studied journalism at Birnam College and has obtained a National Diploma in Journalism. Mr Mfihlo worked for Sowetan newspaper as well as an Organiser with the National Freedom Party. He possesses a CAF B Coaching License, coached in Swaziland and in Motsepe League in South Africa.
He currently serves as the National Organiser of United Democratic Movement.