Johannesburg - The African National Congress is trying to mislead people into thinking there was an exodus from the Congress of the People, the party said on Wednesday.
"There is a particular role that the governing party is playing," Cope deputy president Willy Madisha told reporters in Kempton Park, outside Johannesburg.
He said 19 Cope members who left the party last week, joined the ANC simply because they wanted jobs.
"They want jobs...that is why they left Cope. Those people were not on our election list".
The ANC has said there was an exodus from Cope.
"The resignation of 80% of the Cope caucus is reflective of the malaise that beset the party from inception and its failure to practise democracy, thus relying on courts to determine leadership," said ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu in a statement.
"The ANC welcomes the former Cope members who will be campaigning for the movement as this is their natural political home."
Madisha said the ANC was parading people who had left Cope on television "to give people an impression that Cope was falling apart".
"Those people are being paraded over and over at several ANC election campaigns to mislead people," said Madisha.
Cope spokesperson Kgaugelo Moxwale said Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa had tried to persuade him to join the ANC.
"Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said people like me were wasting time in a dying party, I should join the ANC and be properly rewarded," said Moxwale.
Cope national spokesperson Johann Abrie said on Monday that most of the 19 were "unemployable outside politics".
"They were very, very happy to collect huge salaries based on their association to Cope and waited until the last week to change... that speaks volumes about the character of those people."
Cope is a breakaway party, formed when former president Thabo Mbeki was forced to resign in a power struggle with Jacob Zuma as head of the ruling ANC.Download the app by visiting one of these stores.