Cope Youth welcomes leadership ruling

2013-10-18 14:29
Mosiuoa Lekota (Picture: Sapa)

Mosiuoa Lekota (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The Cope Youth Movement welcomed the court ruling on Friday naming Mosiuoa Lekota as the party's president.

The judgment was handed down by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

"This long-awaited judgment finally brings to an end the most painful period for Cope, its leadership, members and supporters across the country," said Cope Youth Movement (CopeYM) leader Nqaba Bhanga.

"The judgment brings to an end the continuous squabbles, the factionalism, and will end the confusion on the two sides of the organisational divide."

Bhanga said the party would now be able to regain the confidence of its more than one million supporters.

In future, party disagreements should be resolved outside of court, he said.

"With the daily call by CopeYM for unity in the organisation, we are pleased with this verdict and we continuously call for the end of leaders and organisations always in court."

Court ruling

Earlier on Friday, Cope spokesperson JJ Abrie said acting Judge Craig Watt-Pringle had ruled that Cope's leadership, led by Lekota, and elected during its inaugural congress in Bloemfontein in 2008 was the party's only legitimate leadership.

"The ruling further confirms the conclusion of [Cope] that the aborted first national congress of December 2010... in Thaba Tshwane was not quorate and, therefore, did not happen, let alone elect new leadership of the party," he said.

The leadership battle started when Lekota expelled Mbhazima Shilowa from the party after an internal disciplinary hearing found him guilty of mismanaging the party's parliamentary funds. Shilowa had refused to participate in the inquiry.

On 18 July 2012, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria struck from the roll an application by a Cope faction aligned to Shilowa to stop disciplinary hearings against Cope members pending the outcome of the Shilowa-Lekota leadership dispute.

In February 2011, Lekota obtained an interim court order recognising him as the party's president and restraining Shilowa from claiming the title of party leader.

Read more on:    cope  |  mbhazima shilowa  |  mosiuoa lekota  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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