Date: 29 November 2017
Time: 17:30 for 18:00 - 19:30
Venue: Exhibition Hall, UCT GSB, 8 Portswood Road, Green Point
Leader of the United Democratic Movement
(Photo credit: UDM archive)
Join in the conversation as General Bantu Holomisa discusses his book
The authorised biography, written by new author, Eric Naki, in collaboration with General Bantu Holomisa, one of South Africa’s most respected and popular political figures, presents an engaging and revealing account of a man who has made his mark as a game changer in South African politics.
Leader of the United Democratic Movement ( UDM)
He is one of South Africa’s most respected and popular political figures. Born in the Transkei in 1955, he attended an elite school for the sons of chiefs and headmen. While other men his age were joining Umkhonto weSizwe, Holomisa enrolled in the Transkei Defence Force and rose rapidly through the ranks. As head of the Transkei Defence Force, Holomisa led successive coups against the homeland regime and then became the head of its military government. He turned the Transkei into a ‘liberated space’, giving shelter to ANC and PAC activists, and declared his intention of holding a referendum on the reincorporation of the Transkei into South Africa. These actions brought him immense popularity and the military dictator became a liberation hero for many South Africans. When the unbanned ANC held its first election for its national executive in 1994, Holomisa, who had by now joined the party, received the most votes, beating long-time veterans and party stalwarts. He and Nelson Mandela developed a close relationship, and Holomisa served in Mandela’s cabinet as deputy minister for environmental affairs and tourism. The relationship with both Mandela and the ANC broke down after Holomisa testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that, among other issues, Stella Sigcau and her cabinet colleagues had accepted a bribe from Sol Kerzner. After being expelled from the ANC, Holomisa formed his own party, the United Democratic Movement, with Roelf Meyer. As leader of the UDM, Holomisa has played a prominent role in building coalitions among opposition parties and in leading important challenges to the dominant party.
Author & Senior Political Reporter, The Citizen
Eric was born in Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape to a domestic worker mother, Nontanase Naki, and a mining migrant father, Wilton Woko, on 4 April 1963. He grew up on farms in East London, matriculated at Mzomhle High in Mdantsane and studied Communication Science through UNISA. Naki is a journalist by profession, with more than 30 years’ experience in both broadcast and print media. Presently he works as a senior political reporter for The Citizen newspaper in Johannesburg. This is his first book.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR MILLS SOKO
Director UCT GSB
Mills Soko earned his undergraduate degree in Social Sciences from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 1992. Soon thereafter he worked for a year as a research assistant with UCT’s Equal Opportunities Research Project. From 1994 to 1995 he was employed by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa as a researcher on parliamentary affairs, monitoring and preparing reports on the work of parliamentary committees in South Africa’s first democratic national legislature.
In 1996, he joined the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) - the upper house of the South African Parliament – as a researcher to the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, and Public Enterprises. During this period he completed a Master’s degree in International Studies through the University of Stellenbosch. This was followed by his appointment as Head of Policy and Legislative Research in the NCOP, where he oversaw and coordinated the work of committee researchers.
Subsequently he resumed his academic studies and obtained a Master’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick. In 2004, he completed a doctoral thesis on the political economy of trade policy reform in post-apartheid South Africa at the same university.
Apart from being Director of UCT Graduate School of Business, he is Founding Director of Mthente Research and Consulting Services. He previously served as chairperson of the board of trustees of Inyathelo (The South African Institute of Advancement), and as deputy chairperson of the editorial board of New Agenda.
He is a member of the editorial boards of Global Governance and AfricaGrowth Agenda. He is a research associate of both the South African Institute of International Affairs and the Institute for Global Dialogue. He is a member of the Evian Group’s Brains Trust and the Evian Group’s Council of Global Thought Leaders. He is a member of the Africa Business Network, and of the Governing Board of the Association of African Business Schools.
He formerly chaired a working group on education and employment under the auspices of the Africa-Germany Partnership, an initiative of the former President of the Federal Republic of Germany Horst Köhler. And he was a member of the Warwick Commission on The Future of the Multilateral Trading System.
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