COPE vs Cope...

2010-12-18 22:21

Johannesburg - The Congress of the People - clearly divided into two factions - spent Saturday sending out a flurry of statements disputing the other's legitimacy.

In a press statement titled, "New Cope Leadership vows to unify and defend the party," Mbhazima Shilowa declared his leadership as the "lawful custodians of the Cope trademark and name.

"We will... move with speed to protect our brand and restrain anyone who unlawfully uses our name.

Furthermore, we will defend any legal action that is contemplated against the organisation," he said.

Shilowa said his party wished the "Lekota splinter group" "luck in their new endeavours but we are steadfast in our mission to build COPE."

Cope's second attempt at holding an elective conference this week was reported as a failure after violence erupted between supporters of Lekota and his first deputy president, Mbhazima Shilowa.

The leadership battle between the two has seen the party embroiled in mud-slinging matches and political contests since the formation of the ANC breakaway group in 2008.

Conference a failure

On Friday, Lekota admitted that this week's attempt at an elective conference had been a failure, as it had not even managed to begin.

However on Saturday, the national secretary Malusi Booi of the COPE youth movement aligned to Shilowa said that "the elective congress continued to adopt the constitution, refined and adopted policy discussions... and further elected a central national committee which is led by Mbhazima Shilowa."

However, also on Saturday, Lekota-aligned party spokesperson Phillip Dexter said that he was responding to reports that Shilowa "chose to anoint himself as President of Cope by holding an election after the vast majority of delegates had left the arena".

"We would like to place on record that the elective congress was not under way.

"In fact it was never constituted and as such the decisions of Shilowa's splinter group has no legal standing whatsoever."

He said the congress was never opened or accredited.

"If these reports are true, Shilowa and those who availed themselves for nomination for leadership positions have effectively left the party and formed an organisation of their own. Whatever they choose to call it, it is not the Congress of the People."

Also on Saturday, the Shilowa-aligned Booi, called for the expulsion of Lekota - suggesting that he start another party.

"The youth movement will call for the party to expel Lekota, Deidre Carter, Smuts Ngonyama, Phillip Dexter and Thozamile Botha for bringing the name of the party into disrepute," said Booi.

"We believe that Mr Lekota and his cohorts can go and form their organisation if they feel so because everyone joins an organisation voluntarily."

  • grant9 - 2010-12-19 00:03

    "We believe that Mr Lekota and his cohorts can go and form their organisation if they feel so because everyone joins an organisation voluntarily." It's been my experience in Africa that people have no option other than join an organisation. I remember in Rhodesia in the 60s people used to join both ZANU and ZAPU and hoped they produced the right card when the part thugs accosted them.

  • Jeanne - 2010-12-19 03:21

    How tipical is this. Start a "breakaway pary" and make sure you get all the sponsored money. I almost voted for these people... luckly I stick to the DA as thats the way I've been brought up, but almost a third of the country can't say that... so Lekota and his buddies sitting with all those votes decide to have a personal "fight". Well the one with the biggest "tender" will win. I'm sick and tired of politicians putting their personal vendeta before the well beeing of the counrty. So F$%#$K you all... I think the best way to save this country is to actually vote for the ANC... give them full power and THEY WILL KILL THEMSELFS!!!! Wake up people... smell the roses... it's black but it's Lekker!!!

      Zion - 2010-12-19 08:01

      Yes Jeanne, I whitey, saw Cope as a fresh breath of air amid the kleptomania, corruption, incompetence and all those virtuous qualities the ANC promises but never deliveres. I voted for Cope. Now whitey is kicking his own backside. T^his time around I will go for something a bit more civilized. Hey Helen, where are you.

  • FreeMan2 - 2010-12-19 03:43

    When Cope was initially formed the ANC said that no breakaway party from the ANC has ever been successful and they were right. This failure will certainly discourage anyone considering breaking away from doing the same. One of the reasons the ANC will remain the juggernaught party in South Africa is because it sticks together, it is a cohesive unit, it did through aparthied and still does so. The ANC certainly understands what it takes to win elections. As a result they will continue to get the majority vote for the foreseable future. Unfortunately for DA supporters they lack the ability to attune themselves with the majority of the population and doubtful if they can ever be more effective than a opposition party, even though their policies make sense.

      Zion - 2010-12-19 08:06

      Much of the losses the ANC experiences comes from more and more black people who are of a higher educational standard. It is easier to bribe a begger for his vote than a manager.

  • Willie - 2010-12-19 05:36

    Another example of politically immature African politics where the leaders design and operate the party around there interests and not around sound political principles in the interest of the electorate. Fellow South Africans judge COPE and ANC against their achievements. Then we realize they don't have it and don't know how to make SA the country it can be. Please opposition parties work together to become a true representative opposition where black, coloured, Indian,white and all other will feel at home. As a white I cannot feel at home in a racist ANC and the way COPE is going

  • markheidmann - 2010-12-19 08:43

    The Cope website ( sums up their mess. Under the tab "Our Team" is the following: Team Coming soon.. COPE Team to be updated very shortly... Oh and we were hoping for more credible opposition, instead we have this!!

  • Frank - 2010-12-19 09:18

    How Sad. I am not a member of any party, but it really sad people cant get along with each other

      Benzo - 2010-12-19 13:42

      The real sad thing is not that people cannot get along but that same people registered a party (that was not a party as we see today), got a considerable number of voters behind them, won seats in parliament, received the money associated with that.....and then fall apart like a bunch of schoolboys. One could call it electoral fraud, make a case and have them "undone", return the money and ban any of their top clowns from politics for ever. The quibbles in the ANC are bad enough for SA's progress.

  • ernst737 - 2010-12-19 15:54

    The opposite of pro is con. So can we then assume that the opposite of progress is congress?

  • Other Justin - 2010-12-20 10:04

    What an absolute balls up. COPE is D E D! Another win for the ANC-PF.

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