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The African National Congress is reputed for churning out lofty documents which they regrettably do not live up to.
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A year ago we met in this fashion to thank the Lord for having sustained us as an entity, the United Christian Democratic Party, a political party in the Republic of South Africa. We have survived criticism even from among ourselves and are justified to say this is the day the Lord has made we have to rejoice and be happy in it.

The party has stood out like a party represented nationally not confined to some enclave in the North West Province. We attended very many events of national significance alongside  other political parties in the National Assembly.

The UCDP up to so far cooperates with other political parties in the opposition, even on Friday, the Deputy President and I attended one of such meeting in Kempton Park. Our youth League has had eyeball to eyeball interactions with youth leagues of other opposition parties. Some members of the NEC have met with the Secretary General of the Federation for Democratic Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) to deliberate on unemployment and the youth wage subsidy. The UCDP is up and doing.

The Deputy President was among opposition party leaders who visited the Marikana slaughter area on Monday 18 August 2012 to conduct inspection in loco on the massacre occasioned by the police on the Lonmin workers. The UCDP is not a mere onlooker on events.

The President participated  in a number of national public events with other political parties and government thus saying to the people out there the UCDP is alive.

The UCDP in parliament is among the opposition parties that called the President of the Republic to order and even passed a motion of no confidence in him. The Constitutional Court has since ruled that the rules of parliament should not be skewed and lopsided to favour majoritarianism. Come March 2013 we shall see how we take the process forward!

On 01 January 2013 the President, accompanied by the Deputy President and other NEC members, visited the Mafikeng Provincial Hospital, ordinarily called Bophelong, to see newly born babies and give them humble presents. Re lekoko la batho.

The President met the Deputy President of the Republic, Kgalema Motlanthe, in his capacity as Leader of Government Business, to discuss issues concerning the party such as the systematic disregard of the role the party played before 1994 and is continuing to play and the revival of the Mmabatho International Airport. We are busy.

To this end, for the first time since 1994, the UCDP is represented on some hospital boards in the North West. Ga re bolo go jewa ntsoma batho ba ntse ba  sa latelele boemedi ba lekoko mo mefameng e mengwe ba itibile fela ko legislature, this leadership is saying to South Africans this country is ours le rona.

The Councillors’ Forum we formed is about to finalise their constitution; they have sent it in to have the i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

As agreed last year you will notice that our Federal Council meetings will not be confined and restricted to Mmabatho or Mahikeng; you will still have the final stamp on that.

We have had occasion to revive the Youth league after the resignation of some member and though we had aimed to put up a number of provincial structures of the party, we managed only one, the North West provincial structure.

The Constitution of the party enjoins us as the executive to ensure that members enjoy equal opportunities. This is not confined to positions in the different municipal councils and legislatures. People should be empowered to take leadership roles. The National office should not be the be all and end all of all roles. Office bearers at branches, regions and provinces should feel their worth and role.

Efforts have been made to amend the Constitution of the party; we are aware that the Constitution review Committee has yet to complete the task.

It is unfortunate that the Women’s and Youth Leagues have yet to convene meetings to ensure that they exist as entities. The former has tended to be a closed fundraising organisation while the latter continues to be a dependent appendage of the party. Neither of them is fulfilling the role they are set up for which is to mobilise among their members to grow the party.

We must appreciate that a good number of our members belong to School Governing Bodies while some even chair these important institutions.

Unemployment continues to rear its ugly head in this country. This is worse among the youth. Imagine a situation where there are 1 000 vacancies and 100 000 interested people turn up to try their luck as was the case recently in Tshwane. They needed only 1000 people to train as Metro police and 100 000 applied. The less said about the deaths of seven people in Durban the better. They died of exhaustion and dehydration as they sought consideration as Traffic officers.

Imagine that Amplats is threatening to retrench 14 000 people over and above the big numbers unemployed already. This is mainly because of the recalcitrance of the ruling party. We shall watch the space and make noise.

At this stage I must commend two of our youth league members who created jobs for themselves and go on to employ other young people. Mr Kagiso Monyadiwa, the president of the Youth League in a very small way employs some people with his sound system business. Mr Otshepeng Mosebo of Mogwase is running a newspaper publication, Mothobua and employs over 8 young people some of whom are graduates. These two young men ga ba nna fela ba re UCDP ga e re fe mmereko re a tsamaya as some have said and done.

We have noted the hilarity with which the government accepted the Grade 12 results. We have noted the numbers of passes but still feel that those passes are not worth the paper they are written on. A 30% pass is nothing to write home about. We want quality not quantity. Imagine being operated on by a doctor who knows 30% of the work! 

We shall watch developments around the Presidential Commission on the Arms deal with keen interest. The resignation of one senior researcher, Norman Moabi, is revealing. Let us watch the space.

The renaming of the North West province is surfacing again. I have seen many tweets and face book messages for and against the matter. For all I care the name should not have gone beyond 1999. It is just a cardinal point, north west of what? The membership for the committee on name changes in the province is being advertised. Our people should apply to serve in a committee like this for 5 years.

It is unfortunate that while we did most of the things we set out to do when we met at Ratshidi hall last year, we have not succeeded in getting the numbers right yet the election is 13 months away from now. We have to brace ourselves and pay our dues/subscriptions. Many people are waiting out there ba leboga gore re rotse party e se se ntseng se ba dira gore ba e katoge.

The minimum 100 000 members we dreamt of though not achieved, is within reach. The census 2011 statistics indicate that the population has grown; therefore even the to get a seat will be higher.

I wish to call on all of us to live what we say. If we say re rate, re tlotle, re direle, re rerise re be re itshokele batho go be go ithaya le rona tota.

Pontificating on issues we are hard put to doing is helpless. Monna mongwe o ne a tlwaetse go raya batho a re ga go tage ntshe fela, le maemo a a taga. A ke go kope dira se o solofelang gore batho ba se dire.

The party is yet to be united. It is unfortunate Kgosi Mangope allows himself to be used like a puppet by some elements who purport to support him. The circus that played itself out here on Thursday is a case in point. Unfortunately there are some elements on our staff that are conduits to the situation and as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west those elements will join him and his cohorts on the fringes of the UCDP. We cannot live with stalk borers in our midst.

Last time I addressed the Federal Council on “Ma-UCDP se robaleng”. I repeat that. Get out of your comfort zone and fight for the good and soul of the party. This party does not belong to an individual. If it were so that individual would be keeping it kwa ga gagwe.

We have invested a lot in this party. The party is where it is because of our collective efforts. We have sweated for this party and no one should try to monopolise the party.

I urge you members of the UCDP to accept that the present makes sense in this party, our future is secure in this party, We are finished with low living, small planning, colourless dreams cheap living and dwarfed goals such as permanent leaders or leader for life.

You don’t pretend not to like the ANC but when political upstarts and failures from the same body champion your course you become hilarious. Some we know are political rejects who have never been able to keep down a job in their lives. This party expects discipline from all members old and young, founders and those who join, rich and poor as well as kgosi or molala. There has to be discipline.

I believe in the principle that says: A leader must only be the first among equals. In a political party, our membership puts us as equals, one’s election as President, Deputy President or whatever does not make that individual a super member of the organisation.  Strife to be respected, and not to be feared. A leader who does not want other people, the one who revels in expelling people at the drop of a hat must be caused to step aside. A leader who wants to die with the baton in his hand has no place in the annuls of leadership particularly in politics because leadership is a relay race.

We must be alert to the saying that:”Power corrupts and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely”. O se ke wa nna ga ke fetolwe as a leader.

As I conclude, I shall be remiss if I cannot refer to the 3 years of court battles with the former leader of this party. The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein ruled in his favour too. We have invited him to a meeting on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 10:00. I hope you have noted I said invited him not them because that is the ONLY person the party has been wriggling with. You will be kept posted but be alert on the premises on Tuesday.

Let me set the record straight as far as I am concerned. I don’t doubt myself as leader of this party. I know when I was elected. I can give you the date. I was not appointed or pushed in by some belligerent group like the one that showed more brawn than brains here at the office on Thursday.

Let me tell you I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I strive for excellence in all I do.

May I the appeal to you as patriots to support and pray for the success of the national soccer team Bafana Bafana, to win again convincingly this afternoon and go on to make us proud in the African Confederations Cup we are hosting.

Sent by: Sipho Mfundisi
President: UCDP

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