Open letter to President Mbeki re Reports of ANC conduct (Tembisa) by Bantu Holomisa - UDM President (07/05/2001)

His Excellency
President Thabo Mbeki
Union Buildings

Dear Sir

I draw your attention to disturbing reports regarding the conduct of ANC members, that I received during my tour of informal settlements in Tembisa on the East Rand on Sunday the 6th May 2001.

These settlements include Madelukufa, Enxiweni and Winnie Mandela. The residents informed me that they are regular victims of assault, harassment and discrimination in the allocation of residential sites at the instance of ANC members on the ground. The situation has deteriorated to alarming levels of bullying and intimidation where ANC supporters physically evict UDM supporters from their residential sites with the knowledge and acquiescence of the pro ANC councillors in the said areas.

Alternatively they bundle UDM supporters with several families on the same stand, creating an intolerable squalid health hazard. This conduct is at all times directed at our UDM supporters by ANC members.

I am further informed by residents at Enxiweni that some people, who subsequently joined the UDM, had registered for RDP houses as early as 1995, having lived in the area as early as 1990. The local authorities altered those lists and substituted ANC supporters in the place of those residents who joined the UDM. The affected residents are in possession of the original records showing their registration. As a result of this brazen discrimination, the UDM victims have been abandoned and remained in the squatter camps while the ANC supporters are given preference and housed in the RDP houses. I invite you Mr President to conduct an inspection in loco to verify these reports. I will be available to accompany you at your convenience at the earliest possible opportunity.

This conduct is a manifestation of political intolerance and reminiscent of an archaic culture of our troubled past that we so strenuously endeavour to erase. The principles agreed on at CODESA on which our democracy is based recognized that we cannot build a future for posterity on the foundations of hatred, intolerance and harboured animosities of the past. State resources such as housing subsidies cannot and should not be used by any party members to win votes.

I have no doubt Mr President that you will find these reports reprehensible and trust that you will do whatever is necessary to put an end to these incidents.

Yours Sincerely
B Holomisa
United Democratic Movement: President
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