Many of us became very involved with COPE only to have our dreams dashed to smithereens. I need to know a few things before I jump on board and believe me I would be valuable to the party in Mpumalanga. I work very hard and did for COPE, I was personally responsible for building a number of branches and was a part of the Provincial Interim Leadership Group. My contribution to the elections here were not in vain at all.
I am no longer a member of COPE because I just got tired of the unprofessional ways and the lack of discipline. The following questions are not all of my concerns but are the biggest. I know of at least one other ex-COPEr wrestling with these issues.
First how are you going to prevent the skebangas and opportunists from the ANC and other parties from hijacking your movement. In COPE we were subjected to hamstringing and lack of advancement of the cause by internal bickering, much of it was obstructionist and prevented any real work from being done. Many of these people left and rejoined the ANC.
Next, how are you going to ensure transparency and prevent the rigging of lists. In COPE they had an agenda and many who did less work were placed higher up lists because they were female, despite having no constituency. The lists were built by placing one man and a woman in place, ie every second person was a woman. In order to achieve this, women that were related to men that were doing the work, were listed to make the lists fully proportional. Have you got a plan to prevent a farce like this?
Are you going to allow Africa time, I recall meetings starting four hours late because people just could not be bothered to attend timeously. On one occassion a meeting was started in Standerton, and some of the delegates only left Nelspruit at the starting time, Upon their arrival we had to go over details already concluded because of their disrespect.
How are you going to prevent gatekeeping? This was the biggest challenge faced by COPE. The gatekeepers were generally ex-ANC members and the outsiders were considered voting fodder, not leadership material?
Are you going to come down on racist attacks of minorities? My white, coloured colleagues and I were harassed and referred to as pets, by some members of the PILG, no action was ever taken against these racist utterings.
Are you going to allow a million leagues, a womans league, a youth league, a hamsters league and more? Do you think these add value or do you prefer a united and consolidated grouping?
How are you going to form local branches and what criteria will be used for interim leadership?
How are you going to fund local efforts, With COPE there was no funding and money was spent by the activists and never recovered.
How do you differ from the ANC? COPE? DA?
Is senior party leadership going to be elected or is it going to be selected? I understand that initially this will be voluntary and interim, When will the first Conference be held and where?
Where can I see a copy of the manifesto?
What are your views on Religion and State/Party? Are the non religious and other religious groupings going to be enduring religious revival meetings in the guise of political meetings?
What are your views on the Gay agenda and Gay marriage?
Do you think all South Africans are important or just Black Africans?
Where do I join and become involved if I see fit?
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