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United Democratic Movement
Leader Bantu Holomisa
Founded 1997
Headquarters N/A
Ideology Social democracy
International affiliation None
Official colours Yellow, Green, Red
National Assembly members 4
Politics of South Africa
Political parties
Deputy President
Council of Provinces
National Assembly
Constitutional Court

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is a centre-left, social-democratic, South African political party, formed by a prominent former National Party leader, Roelf Meyer (who has since resigned from the UDM) former African National Congress and homeland leader, Bantu Holomisa and John Taylor former ANC REC member. It has an anti-separatist, pro-diversity platform; and supports an individualist South Africa with a strong moral sense, in both social and economic senses.


The formation of the UDM

National Consultative Forum - During his testimony at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Holomisa made reference to a possible bribe that was paid to the former Prime Minister of Transkei, Chief George Matanzima and Miss Stella Sicgau, the then incumbent Prime Minister. Holomisa was expelled from the ANC because of these allegations. In November 1996 Holomisa publicly announced consulting South Africans on the need or not for a new political party. With this objective, the National Consultative Forum (NCF) was established on 8 February 1997.

New Movement Process - Roelf Meyer left the National Party on 17 May 1997, including fellow politicians Nilo Botha, Takis Christodoulou, Kobus du Plessis and Annelizé van Wyk, some of whom had resigned their seats in the Gauteng Legislature. At a three-day strategic planning conference in May 1997, it was decided that a political movement should be established capable of unifying people around shared values across racial, historical, ideological and social dividing lines. The New Movement Process (NMP) was subsequently established.

Bantu Holomisa and Roelf Meyer (who had met previously, with Meyer still representing the National Party to discuss the process for a new movement) again met at Loftus Versveld, in mid-1997, to discuss working together and agreed in principle to explore the possibility of formal cooperation. A Joint Committee (JC) between the NCF and the NMP was formed to look into matters of common interest. The JC amalgamated its two (NCF and NMP) technical support teams into a Technical Committee (TC) to act as its executive body to implement the brief of the JC. This was to “look into matters of common interest between the two sides… consider… the establishment of a new party at an appropriate time… (and) in regard to the latter question… (investigate) matters of strategy, time scales, policy and funding”. The TC was jointly chaired by Kobus du Plessis (NMP) and Joel Mafenya (NCF) and its first meeting took place at the Carlton Hotel on 22 June 1997. After a joint strategic session at the Vaal Dam in July 1997 it was agreed that a new political party should be formed. The United Democratic Movement was launched at the World Trade Centre, in Kempton Park, on 27 September 1997.[1] Bantu Holomisa was elected the party's first president at its first national congress in June 1998.

In the 2004 general election, 9 members were elected to the National Assembly, 5 fewer than were elected in the 1999 election.

On October 8, 2008, the UDM announced its kickoff of the 2009 general election campaign. It also welcomed over 300 former members of the ANC who had left their former party following the deposition of former president Thabo Mbeki in September 2008. So far almost 1000[2][3] former African National Congress members have joined the party since the ANC recalled President Thabo Mbeki and replaced him with Kgalema Motlanthe.

Election results

Election Votes % Seats
2009 149,680 0.85 4
2004 355,717 2.30 9
1999 546,790 3.42 14


  1. ^ Bantu Holomisa; Roelf Meyer (1999). A Better Future, The United Democratic Movement - Towards a Winning Nation in Ten Years ISBN 0620240415
  2. ^
  3. ^,2172,177814,00.html

See also

External links



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