‘I joined UDM because it is on right side of history,’ says Mthunzi Mdwaba as he dumps ANC

Thuja Capital CEO Mthunzi Mdwaba has joined the UDM. Picture/Facebook

Thuja Capital CEO Mthunzi Mdwaba has joined the UDM. Picture/Facebook

Published Feb 19, 2024


United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has announced that businessperson Mthunzi Mdwaba has joined the party ahead of the elections.

The UDM will be launching its manifesto in Johannesburg on March 2.

Holomisa said on Monday the African National Congress (ANC) has been in power for 30 years, but has failed to deliver on its promises.

Mdwaba was not the only prominent leader who joined the UDM, trade unionist Tahir Maepa also joined the party. Maepa is the secretary-general of the Public Sector Commercial Union.

Holomisa said he was looking forward to the contributions of Mdwaba and other new members of the party.

“We have noticed that the ruling party has been acting like an opposition party, lamenting problems in South Africa, yet they have for 30 years had the mandate and the tools to fix the problems in the country. They did the exact opposite,” said Holomisa.

Mdwaba said he was looking forward to his new party.

He said he was joining the UDM because it was on the right side of history. He said the party has been fighting corruption in the country for many years.

Mdwaba was embroiled in a legal tussle with senior ANC and Cabinet members over his allegations that they tried to solicit a bribe of R500 million for a R5 billion Unemployment Insurance Fund tender.

But Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana took Mdwaba, who is the CEO of Thuja Capital, to court. The High Court in Johannesburg found that the allegations by Mdwaba against Godongwana were without substance and unlawful.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi and ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula denied the allegations and sued him.

Early this month Mdwaba suffered a blow after the North Gauteng High Court dismissed his application for documents in the case involving Nxesi.

Mdwaba said he joined the UDM because it was the party that represented constitutional values, and was fighting against corruption.

He said he had spoken to his colleagues on how they can take the country forward, given its socio-economic challenges, and the UDM was the right vehicle to do that.

He said there were millions of people who were unemployed in the country and this was a crisis.

“This is a problem, this is a catastrophe waiting to happen,“ said Mdwaba.

The UDM has shown in the past that it was the party that stood for all the right things. He was leaving the ANC to join the UDM and would not return to the ruling party.

“Why the UDM?. The UDM has for many years stood on the right side of history, and has fought corruption. It has quietly done its work. They inform me they write letters on a daily basis that appear on their website to fight for normal men and women on the ground,” said Mdwaba.

“If you are looking for ethical conduct, if you are looking for governance, this is the way to go. As I was talking to young people, between the ages of 18 to 35, talking to my kids, their networks, their friends, they cannot find who to vote for. They don’t know who to vote for.

“Then, I went to speak to colleagues, my age. I come from the ANC. Today, I am symbolically leaving the ANC and will never every have anything to do with the ANC. It’s real. I am moving away.

“I am never coming back. When I look at that, when I look at the youth of this country and I look at the potential the youth of this country has, and I look at what is possible, I think the UDM will deliver that. We believe the UDM can deliver that. We want to be part of that. We want to be part of a country that is consistent, that is reliable and coherent in processes,” said Mdwaba.

He said South Africa has fallen short in terms of its sustainable development goals. They need to correct a lot of things that have gone wrong in government.

The country has over the last few years failed to address a number of challenges.

Many people were struggling to survive and poverty levels have reached crisis levels, he said.

The UDM was the only party that can be able to deliver on the key challenges facing the country.

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