On 27 September 1997, like-minded South Africans came together at what was then known as the World Trade Centre, in Kempton Park, to form the United Democratic Movement (UDM) after months of consultation between the erstwhile National Consultative Forum and the New Movement Process.

Today marks the 26th anniversary of our founding day and we have experienced marked ups and downs over the years. The dastardly floor-crossing legislation marred our growth trajectory and due to political intolerance and pure intimidation tactics, we tragically lost several key members in killings in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

However, the UDM has persevered through these challenges and has since our inception unfalteringly batted on the wicket of the ethics of good governance and anti-corruption. A stance that earned us a few nasty epithets in our time.

This past weekend the UDM successfully celebrated its 26th anniversary of its founding day in Mthatha at the Walter Sisulu University Stadium with several thousand of attendees listening to the keynote address of UDM President Bantu Holomisa, as well as being entertained by several household names like 4×4, Butho Vuthela, DJ Master Pru, DJ Yaya, EBMQ, Joice, Lindo Mtangayi, Master Dee, Sisana Mgebe, Soft Yonstar, Yolanda MamNtlane and Yongama Mrwetyana.

The UDM however marks this occasion at a time when South Africa is contending with joblessness, crime, lawlessness and violence, poor economy, loadshedding, gender-based violence, water, poverty, incompetence and corruption as well as the influx of people from all-over seeking refuge and resources from the state.

We are of the view that the people of this country are tired of the current state of affairs and that South Africans are ready to take South Africa back from the real State Capturers – the hyenas who have robbed the state of resources which were meant to be used for their development.

Our next goal is clear, the 2024 National and Provincial Elections which are around the corner. The UDM wants to improve on our performance at the poll during these upcoming elections and our leadership and structures have been working hard towards achieving this very goal. The fact that the UDM is led by a combination of experienced and young leaders bodes well for the future of the Party, they are:
President: Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
Deputy President: Mr Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, MP
National Chairperson: Mr Bongani Msomi
National Deputy Chairperson: Mr Humphrey Nobongoza
Secretary General: Mr Yongama Zigebe
Deputy Secretary General 1: Ms Mahlatse Weber
Deputy Secretary General 2: Ms Zandile Phiri
National Treasurer: Ms Thandi Nontenja
National Fundraiser: Mr Lennox Gaehler
National Organiser: Mr Nyaniso Mfihlo
National Deputy Organiser 1: Mr Makeba Pitso
National Deputy Organiser 2: Mr Msawenkosi Dumela

Issued by:
Mr Yongama Zigebe
UDM Secretary General