Cope meeting to discuss Dandala’s replacement

2010-06-23 00:00

THE crucial congress national committee (CNC) meeting of the Congress of the People (Cope), expected to take place on Friday, will discuss who will replace Bishop Mvume Dandala as Cope’s parliamentary leader.

Last week Dandala resigned from all his positions in the party as well as his seat in the National Assembly, where he was the party’s parliamentary leader.

It was reported this week that Cope’s rival factions, the one led by Cope president Mosioua Terror Lekota and the other led by his deputy, Mbhazima Shilowa, are divided as to who should fill the position.

Lekota’s faction wants him to replace Dandala while the Shilowa faction’s candidate for the post has not yet been named.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Cope’s national spokesperson, Philip Dexter, said the CNC meeting will take place at Cope’s head office in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

It is also expected to discuss arrangements for the elusive national elective congress, recent court cases involving party leadership and other policy issues.

Dexter confirmed that the party’s national working committee meeting that was set for Monday was cancelled because of Friday’s meeting.

Last week, the Cope CNC meeting failed to constitute a quorum as CNC members belonging to the Shilowa faction decided to boycott it.

“It is up to individuals to come to the meeting, but the meeting will continue provided that we constitute a quorum,” Dexter said, responding when asked what would be the position should the Shilowa faction decide to boycott the meeting again.

Infighting within Cope took an ugly turn as Shilowa and Lekota factions took legal action over disagreements on whether or not to hold an elective national congress in Pretoria towards the end of last month.

The Shilowa faction wanted the scheduled congress to continue as an elective congress, while the Lekota faction argued that credentials for delegates to the congress were still being disputed.

In court battles, Lekota emerged victorious as he managed to overturn a vote of no confidence obtained against him by the Pretoria congress.

Attempts to contact Shilowa and Charlotte Lobe, the general-secretary of Cope who is in the Shilowa faction, were not successful: their cell- phones rang unanswered.

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