KZN Cope leader vows to defy prosecution by ‘pack of thieves’

2010-10-14 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL’S most vocal Congress of the People (Cope) leader, Siyanda Mhlongo, has vowed to defy a disciplinary hearing instituted against him by the provincial leadership, “because I cannot be disciplined by a pack of thieves”.

He was responding to questions by the media following an announcement by Cope provincial secretary Phillip Mhlongo that (Siyanda) Mhlongo is to be hauled before a disciplinary committee for bringing the party into disrepute.

Phillip Mhlongo said Siyanda’s disciplinary action was prompted by media statements in which he alleged that there was “misappropriation” of R1,4 million allocated to Cope by the KZN Legislature.

Siyanda said, “Thieves cannot take me to the disciplinary committee. I cannot be disciplined by the people who are violating the basic principles of Cope which talks about honest leadership.”

After he had discovered the mismanagement of KZN Cope funds, he said, he wrote a letter to the congress national committee (CNC) of Cope asking it to audit the KZN funds.

Cope’s KZN head of communication, Nicky Moore, was surprised at the provincial secretary’s announcement and said “it definitely contradicts the position of Cope leadership in the province”.

“During the KZN Cope leadership’s meeting last week, Siyanda’s issue was raised and a decision was reached that no disciplinary action would be taken against him. What Siyanda raised is something that we as Cope leadership have been raising without getting answers from Phillip and provincial chairperson Lucky Gabela as from May this year.”

Philip Mhlongo said disciplinary committee chairperson Moeketsi Tlali has been told to convene a disciplinary hearing against Siyanda.

He said Siyanda will be facing charges of bringing the party into disrepute — “for putting into public domain matters of internal nature within the organisation.”

Siyanda said, “Why was Philip jubilant when the CNC appointed forensic investigator KPMG against [Cope deputy president Mbazima] Shilowa, but fought when the same is requested for KZN … How do we attack ANC for corruption…?”

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