UDM leader Bantu Holomisa plans to reveal all his party’s plans for the 2019 national elections in February when he will officially launch its manifesto. Picture: Bongani Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - UDM leader Bantu Holomisa plans to reveal all his party’s plans for the 2019 national elections in February when he will officially launch its manifesto.

While keeping his cards close to his chest, Holomisa - whose party has been showing a decline in support especially in the last national elections of 2014 - hopes that the UDM will perform better than in previous national elections. However, he said his party would continue to contest the national and provincial elections in the nine provinces including his own - the Eastern Cape.

“We are looking forward to our manifesto launch at the Dan Qeqe Stadium on February 16 in Nelson Mandela Bay region. We also have our own plans to hold our list conference in February where we will select our candidates for the elections.

“I do not have a target, but I hope to do well,” Holomisa said.

According to him - his manifesto was likely to contain all the pertinent issues his party would like to address but declined to name them, saying he would do so at the launch.

“We are on holiday now,” he said.

After the 2014 national elections, the UDM forged strong ties with parties such as the EFF, DA, Freedom Front Plus and Cope. Their relationship grew more after the 2016 local government elections after the ANC lost three metropolitan councils - Nelson Mandela Bay, City of Tshwane and the City of Joburg - to the DA.

In the Nelson Mandela Bay metro council, the UDM formed a coalition government which saw the DA’s Athol Trollip being elected as executive mayor and the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani as his deputy.

In September last year, the UDM, EFF and Cope argued in the Constitutional Court that Parliament had failed to determine that former president Jacob Zuma had breached the Constitution in the manner in which he dealt with the former public protector’s Nkandla report. At the time, the parties and the DA which was an intervening party in that application, wanted Parliament to begin impeachment proceedings against Zuma.

At the time of the ruling on December 29 last year in favour of them - these party leaders and their members presented a united front outside the Constitutional Court’s building.

But tensions between the UDM and the DA in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality had strained irretrievably since May last year. Trollip began accusing Bobani of corruption.

The cracks widened in March this year - when Bobani supported a series of votes of no-confidence against Trollip. Trollip survived a series of motions but his control ended on August 27. Bobani was later elected mayor.

The rift between the two parties further widened when Holomisa also conditionally supported the expropriation of land without compensation. Now relations are at the lowest ebb.

The Star