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The UDM condemns President Mbeki's ridiculous and repetitive use of the race card. His latest use of the race card, in the ANC official newsletter, against anyone who does not want to swallow the half-baked Arms Report is yet another reminder that this man does not deserve to lead this country.

Mbeki labels with monotonous regularity his critics as racists. It is clear that he resorts to insult and invective whenever he cannot defend the indefensible. The UDM is concerned about the systematic and meticulous way in which Mbeki is eroding the good race relations and nation building achieved under President Mandela. His comments are an insult to every South African, irrespective of race. Using the race card creates the distinct impression that Mbeki and his government have painted themselves into a corner and that the Report is indeed, as the UDM suggested, nothing less than a cover-up.

We can come to no other conclusion than this: Mbeki is the racist.

Most of his critics are honourable men and women. They are South Africans who are concerned about their country, and rightly so because Mbeki is losing his grip on the most basic rules of good governance. Skin colour does not come into it. With each passing day he behaves more and more like a neurotic dictator, who places greater stock in weapons than medicine, who travels more than he is at home, and who sees plots and enemies wherever he turns. He confuses praise-singing for fact; fact for deceit; and criticism for treason.

It is time for Mbeki and his cronies to realise that "struggle credentials" and skin colour do not automatically make them immune to mismanagement and corruption. Nothing has served to illustrate this sad fact more acutely than this botched Arms Deal investigation and Mbeki's stubborn and misguided views on HIV/AIDS.

To oppose mismanagement and corruption is not racism; it is patriotism. One day historians might well picture this man as an emperor with a matchbox next to his throne, playing fiddle while his country burns to the ground.

Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President

16 November 2001

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