Cope youth movement want leader expelled from the party

2010-12-18 14:06

Congress of the People party leader Mosiuoa Lekota should be expelled from Cope and can even start his own party, the party’s youth division said.

“The youth movement will call for the party to expel Lekota, Deidre Carter, Smuts Ngonyama, Phillip Dexter and Thozamile Botha for bringing the name of the party into disrepute,” said national secretary Malusi Booi in a statement yesterday.

“We believe that Mr. Lekota and his cohorts can go and form their organisation if they feel so because everyone joins an organisation voluntarily.”

Booi’s comments came as part of a stream of criticism about the party’s recent attempt to hold an inaugural congress.

Cope’s second attempt at holding an elective conference in 2010 was perceived as aborted after violence erupted between supporters of Lekota and his first deputy president, Mbhazima Shilowa.

The leadership battle between the two has seen the party embroiled in mud-slinging matches and political contests since the formation of the ANC breakaway group in 2008.

On Friday, Lekota admitted that the party’s second attempt at an elective conference was a failure.

However Booi said that the youth division recognised that “the elective congress continued to adopt the constitution, refined and adopted policy discussions...and further elected a central national committee which is led by Mbhazima Shilowa.”

However, in a statement on Saturday, party spokesman Phillip Dexter said that he was responding to reports that Shilowa “chose to anoint himself as President of Cope by holding an election after the vast majority of delegates had left the arena.”

“We would like to place on record that the elective congress was not under way.

“In fact it was never constituted and as such the decisions of Shilowa’s splinter group has no legal standing whatsoever.”

He said the congress was never opened or accredited.

“If these reports are true, Shilowa and those who availed themselves for nomination for leadership positions have effectively left the party and formed an organisation of their own.

Whatever they choose to call it, it is not the Congress of the People.”

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