Regions demand Cope accounts be frozen and audited

2010-10-20 00:00

THE majority of the Congress of the People (Cope) regions in KZN are demanding that Cope’s bank accounts be frozen and all party finances in the province should be subjected to forensic audit.

This is one of many decisions taken by six out of nine KZN Cope regions who met at Pietermaritzburg’s Thistle Hotel last night, where a motion of no confidence against the provincial leadership of the party was also confirmed.

Last night’s meeting, which was also attended by Cope’s KZN deputy chairperson Piet Breedt and head of communications Nikkie Moore, was the culmination of several regional meetings after allegations of financial irregularities involving R1,4 million allocated to the party by the KZN legislature.

The regions resolved to, as of last night, no longer acknowledge the current provincial leadership. Plans to hold a provincial elective conference are under way.

“The regions have lost confidence in their [provincial leaders’] ability to lead the province effectively. This resolution of no confidence also extends to the deputy secretary for the eThekwini region, who should be removed from Cope offices,” reads one of the meeting’s resolutions.

A decision was taken to establish a task team to take the party to an elective conference.

The task team will consist of 13 members nominated from each region, as well as youth and women’s party structures.

“No regional conferences can take place until the branches have been audited by an external auditor from Cope head office.”

The organisation demanded that Cope’s bank accounts be frozen and that two existing signatories, Mthokozisi Myende and Nierrie Mothillal, be removed and replaced by independent signatories appointed by a task team.

In an earlier statement, Cope provincial secretary Philip Mhlongo said those who attended yesterday’s meeting have automatically dismissed themselves from the party.

“Cope leadership in KwaZulu-Natal disregards a call made by few individuals who are handled by a right-wing group in the province.

“We wish to state that such a group shall be defeated with their masters, who are hell bent on destabilising our beloved province. Again, we wish to overstate that they shall be defeated and destroyed.

“We shall monitor the developments and whoever is part of [yesterday’s meeting], is automatically dismissed. A special CPC meeting shall be convened to formalise this …” Mhlongo said.

Mhlongo also said Cope’s head of communications, Moore, “shall be dealt with accordingly”, for inviting the media to last night’s meeting.

Among the Cope regions that participated in last night’s meeting were Ugu, Sisonke, Pietermaritburg, uMzinyathi and uThukela.

Zululand was reportedly in support of the motion of no confidence. Conspicuous by their absence were eThekwini, iLembe and Amajuba regions.

Commenting on Mhlongo’s threat of dismissal, Ugu chairperson Ntofontofo Khusi said: “It’s him who is fired. The leadership have no positions without the regions.”

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