Johannesburg – United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said on Saturday that the current situation that the African National Congress finds itself in, is partly the reason why he established his own party 20 years ago.Addressing hundreds of UDM members at the party’s 20th-anniversary celebrations at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Holomisa said it had not been an easy journey.“I could sense the rot that was threatening to take hold inside the ANC in the mid-nineties, I argued against it, but instead of heeding the message, they decided to shoot the messenger,” he said.“Some said we were foolish, others said life outside the ANC would be cold and lonely. As it turns out, life inside the ANC has not exactly been warm and cozy,” he said.Holomisa said today’s ANC was a damaged organisation, riddled with deadly division.“It is dangerous, unstable and unfit to lead our great country."It has lost touch with the ordinary man and woman. It has betrayed its great history. It has lost its moral compass and soon it will face the consequences of its disregard of its fundamental duty to serve the people, when in 2019 it wakes up and finds it has lost its majority,” he said.The ANC expelled Holomisa in 1996 after he testified in the Truth in Reconciliation Commission about alleged corruption.UDM deserves to celebrateHolomisa said the political market in South Africa was tough to enter and that other opposition parties have struggled to survive, but that the UDM has continued to stand strong 20 years later.“I want us to look back at what we have achieved in the past and look ahead at what we can achieve together, working towards a united future,” he said.“We have every reason to be proud of our past and optimistic about the future.“Although we were the first new political start-up of the democratic era, we are not the last. Others have come, and most have also gone.”Holomisa pointed out that the Independent Democrats had been swallowed up by the DA, while Cope was struggling to keep their heads above water.“Agang, still remember them?” he chirped.Bailouts are unacceptableHolomisa said the continued bailouts of state-owned public entities was a waste of public money that could be better used to assist the poor.“It is a sad fact ruling party has neglected the people of the country. Instead of flourishing state-owned enterprises, rumours abound that the ANC government want to use Public Investment Corporation funds to bail them out.“This is utter nonsense, you ran those state-owned enterprises to the ground, now you want to pilfer people’s retirement monies,” he said to loud applause.2019 watershed yearHolomisa said it was vital that people took a stand and used their votes in the upcoming 2019 national elections.“2019 will be a watershed year, I have no doubt of that,” he said.“Regardless of who wins [at the ANC elective conference in December] and takes on the poisoned chalice of the succession to Zuma, the ANC is beyond redemption. It talks of self-correction as it limps desperately towards December.“Let me tell you this, the only correction that can now save them and all of us are at the ballot box. 2019, cannot come soon enough,” he said.Coalition politics not easyHolomisa said it had long been the UDM’s hope that the opposition would work together and where possible collaborate and form coalitions.“Coalition politics requires certain skills to cope with the tensions that easily arise, as we are learning in Port Elizabeth. A lot of water has flown under this bridge in PE,” he said.Holomisa said he had met with DA leader Mmusi Maimane shortly before a trip to Germany on September 17.“During our conversation, he conceded that the DA as the larger partner had made mistakes in dealing with the coalition partners. He committed to rectify them, so we are waiting."Let me stress this, coalition government is not easy. Inevitably when different parties with different histories, different value systems and different world views make a commitment to work together it requires patience, tolerance and a willingness to forgive a mistake in judgment; and sometimes pardon those who have made those mistakes or unwise language and decisions,” he said.Holomisa said the UDM’s doors were always open and that the party was willing to listen and work together for the people of South Africa.“What we are not willing to do is to be used as a step ladder in another party’s fight to obtain power. The UDM is an independent organisation and we will jealously guard our reputation,” he said.