SPEECH ON THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
UNITED CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY
SUNDAY, 06 DECEMBER 2015
SIPHO MFUNDISI - PRESIDENT
The National Chairperson,
The Deputy President,
Members of the National Executive Committee,
Executives of the Women’s and Youth Leagues,
the Executive of the Christian Ministers’ Fraternal,
The Provincial Executive Committee members, Executives of the regions,
And members of our august party, the United Christian Democratic Party and friends I salute you.
Way back in 1972 this party was formed though under a different name. In 1975 strive set in and the Bophuthatswana Democratic Party came into being. In 1992, after realizing that thus far, the Lord had been with our founding fathers, they called it the Christian Democratic Party in recognition of the successes they achieved much against odds in the then independent Bophuthatswana.
It has to be registered emphatically that this was the only party bearing the name of Christ at the time. All the others that adorn the pages of the newspapers and other media are mere pretenders to the spirit as they saw the light of day long after our party.
For the uninitiated the current Christian Democratic Party and the African Christian Democratic Party came into being after our party was denied participation in the democratic elections of 1994. Some opportunists then took advantage of our CDP and when we shed off the dust after the subtle coup de tat that was launched by the African National Congress on this part of the country, we resolved, I was there, not to dispense with the Christian name and we therefore called our new born party the United Christian Democratic Party what is affectionately known as the UCDP, your host and home for now.
Members of this party are believers in Christ and in true Christian spirit we should love our neighbours and all other people, as ourselves. There is no room for hatred , bearing grudges and jealousy in this party. We should learn to forgive and forget.
There will be differences but the injunction is that forgive your fellowman seventy times seven times. Let us live as a family as brothers and sisters.
The UCDP is the only party in this country that has a tradition to hold a day of prayer. While some have their whatever date statement we have our December 7 or whatever day is nearer that on a Sunday, where we meet and say thus far the Lord has been with us.
My colleagues in the National Executive Committee spend sleepless nights agonising on how to revive and inject life into the party. We cannot do it alone; it has to be a joint exercise. We need you to buy in for the good and survival of the UCDP.
The Christian Ministers’ Fraternal continue to do wonderful work in reconciling the members from that which saw us go different ways after the aborted efforts to expel some from the party without following due process.
The CMF have been to the home of the founder leader of the party, Kgosi L M Mangope, to pray for and with him and solicit his blessing to let the party thrive and succeed. We thank them for leading from the front and by example. They did not stand back like some who pontificate and try to point at specks of dust in the eyes of others while elsewhere they had beams in their own eyes.
The Amended Constitution of the UCDP, 2013 is the document that drives us. We hope all of us will internalise it so that we can all sing Go monate mo UCDP, Fa o swenkela UCDP you will never come alright we invite all and sundry to come home into this party ya Borraarona.
We all know dikgomo go tlhabana tsa lesaka. Bo tsholwa bo le molelo bo tsoge bo fodile.
I need to remind members that Section 5 of our Constitution as amended in 2013 states that we shall:
“Promote social justice, fairness and respect for the human rights set out in Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic
We shall promote equal opportunities for all
We shall eliminate all discrimination based on any grounds”
What we shall not tolerate is discrimination on grounds of ethnicity, regional origin, and state of wealth or poverty, sexual grounds or social standing.
The unfortunate state in which the party is careering is lamentable, but it is in us to redeem it to its former glory.
The two leagues, the Women’s and Youth leagues, exist in name only. They have yet to mobilise their constituents to promote the well being of the party. Of course the Women’s League does somewhat try, as for the Youth League they only know June 16 except that their leaders attend national events that they never share with the party, yet they go there as representatives of the UCDP.
There are some sponono talkers in this party who have the gift of the gab who are brave enough to show their ignorance in public. They don’t mind to confront their leadership and even please their friends from other parties and say our party has no policies while Section 5 of the Amended Constitution has 14 points which are the foundation of the UCDP policies.
The problem is that our people don’t read.
We call on all of us to acquaint ourselves with the Constitution. You may download it from our website: www.ucdp.org.za.
The UCDP is a brand and that is why most political parties want to associate themselves with us or destroy us to steal our legacy. Can you imagine the hypocrisy of the premier of this province who went to Motswedi and knelt below Kgosi Mangope asking for wisdom!
It is this party that did not bother about the then white Mafikeng. We instead built our Mmabatho from scratch and they came cap in hand asking to be incorporated into Bop. The same happened in Thaba Nchu. When we built Selosesha and Thaba nchu Sun, they offered the dilapidated town. It is back in ruins like it is the case with Mafikeng here in the North West.
This party has demonstrated resilience and resourcefulness against all odds and adversity. We should not hand ourselves over to our former persecutors and mockers.
We owe it to our councillors. The party is thriving and surviving on their sweat. Re a leboga borra le bomma, makhanselara. Otherwise we should have closed shop as members do not pay their membership fees.
Our office staffs are darlings. They are volunteering to keep the torch of the UCDP aloft. Re a lo leboga bagaetsho.
I shall be remiss if I cannot say anything on the forth coming Local Government Elections. We need to be prepared from ward to region to municipality and up to District Municipality levels.
The Deputy President is heading all matters relating to elections. All candidates will be elected in their wards. No one will negotiate to be placed on some list without having gone through the mill or as they say somewhere all must go through the eye of the needle – that is being subjected to the Electoral College of the party. Gone are the days of fraternising with the authorities and get on a preferable spot on the list in cold feet.
Be it as it may, I plead with you to try the best you can to have as many women and young people on your lists and wards.
Some of the serving councillors have indicated to the NEC that they will not be available as candidates next year. Some will even relinquish their seats before the election period starts and we are ready for those internal by-elections. Meetings have to be convened and candidates nominated and an election conducted among the nominated ones, the one with the highest votes will then be recommended to serve as a councillor.
We wish to make a plea to ALL AND SUNDRY to register as voters. Even tomorrow you may go to register. Don’t wait for those days of special registration.
We also have to start identifying and appointing party agents. We saw how ruthless the IEC in the North West can be. The Tlokwe issue is an example of what we may expect. My belief is that the persistence of those 8 independent candidates was motivated more by the inside knowledge they have of how the ANC and IEC collude and operate. After all they were expelled from the ANC.
The same IEC in the North West tried to be a stumbling block when we wanted to fill the vacancy at Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality recently, but they met their match in yours truly.
We have to be alert and attend Party Liaison Committee meetings. For that one I must congratulate our representatives at the North West Provincial Liaison Committee.
We are not represented in these committees in other municipalities. That is where they, the IEC and other parties, start cheating on us. Please let us stand up and be ready to speak out on matters of the UCDP.
There is nothing wrong in expelling defaulting members of the party even if they are councillors as long as due process is followed!
The efforts we mounted as this NEC and approved by the Federal Council in terms of the division of labour as set out in the Constitution seem not to be succeeding but there is hope. I must thank Mr Lucas Mokgosi, the Chairperson and those who serve with him for trying to bring the party together in the North West Province. Keep trying bagaetsho, you know better that ga twe: Nko ya kgomo mogala tshwara thata e se re o utlwa sebodu wa kgaoga.
I wish to thank Baruti ba Christian Ministers’ Fraternal. No place is too far for them. They were in Thaba Nchu with us for a Federal Council meeting go le maruru in July. They have been to the Northern Cape to revive the party. On 14 November they were in Valhalla in Pretoria meeting clergy from other Christian parties to deliberate on where the South African nation is going.
My colleagues in the NEC work under difficult conditions. They work under a slave driver who churns out instructions and convenes meetings with agendas by cell phone. Please ladies and gentlemen bear with me but we have to turn the fortunes of this party around. We hold regular monthly meetings at times twice a month.
I shall today do something unprecedented in the UCDP. We shall give out some awards to people we think deserve recognition and such awards. I repeat this will be the first of its kind since the founding of the party.
Unlike some parties, we have not set criteria of competition but as we go about with members we are aware of those who toil and exert themselves.
To those who will not receive anything today, your chance is coming.
I thank you