Cope's Limpopo chair cries foul over suspension

2017-10-08 11:26
(Photo: file, Die Burger)

(Photo: file, Die Burger)

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Polokwane - The Congress of the People’s (Cope) Limpopo chair Patrick Sikhutshi on Sunday alleged that his suspension was a result of his criticism of the opposition party’s leader.

"[Mosiuoa] Lekota and his group are up in arms against me, because I moved a motion of no confidence on them and it was carried through," Sikhutshi told News24.

"Instead of entertaining that, he [Lekota] comes up with a counter strategy to frustrate the process," claimed the provincial chairperson.

On Saturday, the party announced the suspension of Sikhutshi, following an investigation into the misappropriation of party funds.The decision was made last weekend.

"There have been allegations of misappropriation of party finances against him for some time," Cope's national chairperson Pakes Dikgetsi said at the time.

However, on Sunday, Sikhutshi refuted the allegations:

"I can’t do that. I am a very responsible person. I strive to fight against corruption and misappropriation of funds."

Asked about the way forward, Sikhutshi said he had 'options'.

"We will look into the options."

He did not yet have any details of when a disciplinary hearing might take place.

However, by Sunday noon, Sikhutshi had made an urgent court application seeking to interdict a meeting whereby the party was apparently set to make a formal announcement on the Congress National Committee'ss (CNC) decision to suspend him pending further investigations and disciplinary hearing.

The party said in a statement that following an agreement reached in court chambers, it would cancel a media briefing scheduled for Sunday.

"COPE is opposing the application," said the party, adding that it considered the legal action to be "frivolous".

In February this year, Sikhutshi brought a motion of no confidence against the congress executive committee (CEC) at a national committee meeting.

At the time, Cope deputy-head MP Willie Madisha said all structures calling for heads were disrupting the party and could be suspended.

However on Saturday, Dikgetsi said the move to suspend Sikhutshi had nothing to do with his motion of no confidence. 

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