Pretoria - Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota had to swallow his words and "eat a hat" on Friday after preliminary results showed that the party lost votes compared to 2009.
"I did not say I will finish the hat when I made a commitment to eat a hat... it was out of faith and a belief for members of Cope," he told journalists after he was handed an EFF beret and a grey hat to choose from.
The hats were offered, with tomato sauce on hand.
He declined to chew on the EFF beret and took the grey hat and bit into it, much to the laughter from journalists and party officials.
Lekota promised in an interview during the election campaign to "eat a hat" should his party receive less votes than it did in the 2009 elections.
The Congress of the People, a breakaway from the ANC, had received 120 060 votes just after lunch.
The party received over a million votes in 2009.
Lekota said the party would hold committee meetings to assess the campaign and the status of the party.