State of the Nation media statement issued by Bantu Holomisa, MP - President of the UDM (9 February 2007)
President Mbeki has delivered an issue-driven speech during his State of the Nation address. It is possible that this speech can lay the foundation for real change that will in turn provide hope and turn around the low morale within essential departments such as health, education and the South African Police Services.

His emphasis on unity and partnership among all South Africans as we confront our challenges is welcome. We are relieved that he did acknowledge crime in his speech.

What now remains is for the members of his cabinet to spell out in detail in the coming weeks how they intend to give substance to the broad strokes painted in the President's speech.

The most notable oversight in the President's speech was the complete absence of any reference to the Arms Deal. He said nothing about the latest revelations regarding the tens of millions of Rands of bribes alleged paid to senior government officials that is being investigated in both Germany and Britain. If these allegations are baseless he should have said so, but his silence just creates further doubt.

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