Cope leadership tussle continues

2011-08-23 10:41

Johannesburg - Congress of the People co-founders Mbhazima Shilowa and Mosiuoa Lekota will continue their dispute over the party's leadership in an application in the South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.

In February, Lekota secured an interdict from the court preventing Shilowa from calling himself the president or a member of the party.

This, in effect, stopped him from participating in the party's politics.

The two were part of a group of co-founders of the party who left the ruling African National Congress in 2008 because they felt it had lost sight of its core values.

They made the move after former president Thabo Mbeki stepped down, having lost the presidency of the ANC to Jacob Zuma in Polokwane the previous year.

Cope has since then been unable to agree on who is its president.

The Shilowa and Lekota "factions" each claim to be the legitimate representatives of those who voted for the party in the 2009 national election.

Former Methodist bishop Mvume Dandala was Cope's presidential candidate ahead of that election, but later resigned as its leader in Parliament.

Shilowa left his job as a premier of Gauteng and Lekota left the post of defence minister when they made their breakaway.

Lekota was not present in court on Monday, when the matter was supposed to have been heard.

The case was postponed until Tuesday to give lawyers time to prepare after Lekota's main counsel fell ill.

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

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