2 UDM leaders step down

2016-09-23 10:01
Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala. (File, Maria Clulee)

Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala. (File, Maria Clulee)

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Johannesburg – The UDM's deputy president Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala and its financial planner and fundraiser Maureen Vogel have left the political party.

Things started going wrong during preparations for the August 3 local government elections, Vogel said on Thursday.

There was a lack of transparency and manipulation of candidate lists, she claimed.

"The methods the president used for selecting proportional representation candidates were not good. We couldn't compete. A few of us had one branch or two while they had caucuses which consisted of 16 branches or more and when we tried to address that the president was abrupt and rude," Vogel told News24.

She accused UDM founder and leader Bantu Holomisa of backing his favourites as councillor candidates. She said she was overlooked for someone with far less skills than she had.

"The man the president chose was not fit for the role and didn't know the community, while I have the necessary expertise, knowledge and insider know-how of the community."

Holomisa 'not fit to be president'

Vogel also served as the party's Western Cape deputy secretary.

She said giving five years of her life to the UDM had left her with a bitter taste. She spent her own money launching branches in the Western Cape and campaigning for candidates she had nominated.

"I feel very disappointed in Holomisa. He is very arrogant and even as a national leader he wouldn't bother to greet me. He was a general in the army and still behaves that way. That man is not fit to be a president," she said.

She believed Litchfield-Tshabalala, a former EFF MP who was elected UDM deputy leader at the party’s 2015 elective conference in Mangaung, felt the same.

"She was also treated very badly by the party. They even refused to pay her a stipend. I understand she stopped turning up for work a long time ago," Vogel said.

Resignation letter

Holomisa said Litchfield-Tshabalala applied for study leave earlier this year, and it was granted.

"Then she asked not to be involved in party activity. We agreed. Two weeks ago, she wrote a letter to say she was almost done with her PhD and that it doesn’t go along with UDM policies and ideology, therefore she is quitting," he said.

The Daily Dispatch quoted insiders saying that she left due to Holomisa's dictatorial leadership style.

Holomisa said Vogel should have lodged a complaint with the party's national executive committee. He questioned her claims that the UDM owed her money.

"I don't know what she talking about, saying she's given us money when she is the fundraiser. She's never even raised a cent. We wish her luck," said Holomisa.

The "general", as he is often called, said the UDM would replace the two in November.

News24's attempts to confirm this with Litchfield-Tshabalala were unsuccessful.

Read more on:    udm  |  bantu holomisa  |  politics

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