Cope faction expels 7 members

2011-03-19 18:01

Johannesburg - A faction in the Congress of the People, aligned to party president Mosiuoa Lekota, said on Saturday it had expelled seven of its senior members for bringing the party into disrepute.

Cope MP Phillip Dexter said the decision to immediately expel Mluleki George, Nikiwe Num, Zale Madonsela, Ebrahim Sawant, Archie Ralo, Sam Kwelitha, Mbulelo Ncedane, Mampi Ramotsamai-Kotsi and Clara Motau was made by the party's congress national committee (CNC) in Johannesburg on Saturday.

"Among the charges they were found guilty of were - bringing the party into disrepute, holding an unconstitutional gathering of some individuals and attempting to pass this off as a Cope meeting, impersonating the leadership of the party and interfering in the accreditation process of the congress," Dexter said.

He said the CNC agreed that these "serious charges" warranted such action.

Dexter said the parliamentary seat left vacant after the expulsion of Cope deputy leader Mbhazima Shilowa would be filled by Graham McIntosh, "an experienced politician who has served as an MP before".

The meeting also resolved to recover the funds spent on legal cases from those who have been ordered to pay these to the party by the court, he said.


Lekota's faction expelled Shilowa from the party in February for serious misconduct and financial improprieties.

Shilowa has consistently denied his guilt and refused to participate in the disciplinary hearings.

A statement from the Shilowa faction said the "so-called" expulsions were a sham and that its leaders were the legitimate leaders of the organisation.

The matter, it said would be heard by the Western Cape High court on Tuesday.

"The purported expulsion is a contemptuous attempt to subvert the court matter that was brought by the leaders Lekota claims to have expelled," the statement said.

"We will resist the attempt by Lekota to postpone the resolution of leadership dispute indefinitely," the statement said.

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