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Major General (Rtd) Bantu Holomisa and I

I met Major General Bantu Holomisa in 1991 in the capital, Umtata of the Republic of Transkei. I was working as an Orthopaedic Surgeon under Professor Mc Connachie in Umtata and Bedford Orthopaedic Hospitals. I came from Bulawayo where I was working as a Registrar in Mpilo Central Hospital in the black township of Mzilikazi. Before that I worked in Niamey as an United Nations Voluteer Orthopaedic Surgeon in Niger. Transkei, the former Bantustan republic was a comfortable place to work and had an easy accessibility to all bureaucrats including its President Major General Bantu Holomisa. I saw him moving around and greeting people without any bodyguards and solving people’s problem immediately. The hospitals and far flanged clinics were well stocked with essential medicine, equipments and health care professionals.  

Experienced doctors from all around developed countries visited the hospitals for a remarkable Africa experience. During my period in Umtata, I was selected by University of Pretoria and South African Military Health Service to do specialization in Aerospace Medicine. Democracy came in South Africa in 1994 and the African National Congress was chosen by the people to lead the country. I joined the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in the black township of Mdantsane and continued working in Orthopaedic Surgery till 2010 after which I was appointed as Head of Emergency Medicine and Thuthuzela Gender Violence centre. A lot happened during this period. Umtata was renamed as Mthatha and the University of Transkei was named as Walter Sisulu University which has medical school attached to it.

Major General Bantu Holomisa formed the United Democratic Movement (UDM) with Roelf Meyer for a greater freedom and employments to the common people. In 27 June 1998, the National Management Committee of the UDM declared, Major General Bantu Holomisa as its President and Deputy President was Roelf Meyer. This was a party brought in place as an opposition to the African National Congress. During the period of African National Congress, street violence went sky high and this all because of improper governance and corruption. I retired from my active service in 2023. During the same time I saw a difficult change. The victims of sexual assault and rape had become close to eight per day of which more than half were children below the age of sixteen. The 2024 is vitally important as the country goes to polls on 29 May, there are now more than thousand doctors unemployed among which are my daughter and son in law and doctors fleeing to developed countries among which is my son who resigned from Kimberley hospital.. I participated in UDM rallies with the Major General and his team for this dream of having a political organization in the province and centre which will have easy accessibility for our youths and elderly and a promise of reconstitution the rainbow nation once of Madiba.

References

A Better Future – Bantu Holomisa and Roelf Meyer
Bantu Holomisa, The Game Changer An Authorized biography by Eric Naki


Charcoal Portrait on Paper by Amitabh Mitra

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