The UDM wishes all South Africans well during the coming long weekend. We encourage all South Africans to join in celebration, tomorrow, for the democratic dispensation bequeathed upon us on this date seven years ago. Seven years after our first democratic elections we are morally obliged to recognise that democracy is under threat. The following matters are threatening our democracy and freedom:

Firstly, President Mbeki and his confidants are spiralling into a self-fulfilling prophecy of paranoia. This type of behaviour in leaders of state inevitably leads to the creation of a “police state”. History has shown this over and over again; P.W. Botha is a stark reminder.

Secondly, government has proven that it is not capable of looking after the concerns of all South Africans, namely unemployment, crime, HIV/AIDS and poverty. Instead the focus of government is on conspiracy theories about the cause of AIDS or possible internal ANC plots against Mbeki. Instead of focussing on socio-economic needs, billions of rands are spent on weapons. Instead of service delivery government staggers from one corruption/mismanagement crisis to another. The UDM is concerned that Mbeki is not shy to improve his ailing image by touring the country on state expense, when that money could have been much better spent on buying HIV/AIDS drugs.

Thirdly, government has failed abysmally to unite South Africans and make nation building the priority it should be in a country with our recent divisive history.

The UDM calls on all South Africans to remember on Freedom Day that we need to unite as a nation. Now, more than ever, all of us must take collective responsibility for the future of South Africa. We urge South Africans to remain positive; together we must face the above-mentioned challenges, united in our diversity. On Freedom Day, we must remember the role of all sections of SA society in achieving our freedom. It is time for all South Africans to reclaim control of our destiny, it is abundantly clear that the ANC, and their weak and incompetent government, cannot be relied upon to protect freedom.

Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President

26 April 2001