The United Democratic Movement (UDM) was formed in 1997 by Bantu Holomisa, who was expelled from the ANC after accusing a top party official of corruption.
Holomisa, the former military strongman in the former homeland of the Transkei, teamed up with Roelf Meyer, a former Nationalist Party cabinet minister, to form a new party.
Meyer later left politics to pursue other interests.
The UDM sees itself as a contender for power with the ANC. Holomisa says his party is aiming to become an alternative government.
His party campaigns around issues that it believes the government is handling badly. At a media briefing held on 24 February 2014, Holomisa announced that former ANC / COPE strongman, Mbhazima Shilowa and some of his supporters had thrown their weight behind the UDM.
“We call on all South Africans, especially those who voted Congress of the People in the last elections, to rally behind the UDM in the forthcoming elections,” Holomisa added.
Following the 2016 municipal elections, the UDM won 59 seats.