Cope seeks final order
Johannesburg - The Congress of the People faction aligned to co-founder Mosiuoa Lekota is seeking a final court order enforcing the expulsion from the party of his rival for its presidency, fellow co-founder Mbhazima Shilowa.
Lekota's spokesperson Phillip Dexter said the sheriff of the High Court in Johannesburg served a summons on Shilowa on Friday morning.
Shilowa was barred from Parliament last week after an interim order granted by the high court in Johannesburg on February 11 interdicted him from misrepresenting himself and ordered him not to interfere with Cope's bankers.
It also prohibited him from preventing Lekota or his office bearers from carrying out their business at Cope's Johannesburg offices.
At the time, Shilowa's spokesperson indicated that his faction's Congress National Committee had instructed his legal team to challenge the order.
Challenge the order
"We have also instructed our attorneys to inform parliament and the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) of our intention to challenge the interim order," said Sipho Ngwema.
However, Dexter said on Sunday that it appeared Shilowa had "no real intention" to oppose his expulsion and allowed seven days to lapse without any action.
"In the event that he chooses to do so now, he will have to follow normal rules of court pertaining to the filing of opposing papers," he said.
Dexter said the Lekota faction's wanted the interim order made final to cap what he termed the Shilowa faction's "frolics" and to foil attempts to destabilise the party in the run-up to the local government elections.
The Lekota faction's Congress National Committee expelled Shilowa earlier in February for serious misconduct and financial improprieties.
Shilowa has consistently denied his guilt and refused to participate in the disciplinary hearings.
The Lekota-aligned faction said that an internal disciplinary committee had found Shilowa guilty of wrongfully authorising the transfer of R5 million from the parliamentary allowance accounts to Cope party accounts, and of submitting the party's financial statements to Parliament knowing that they contained "material misrepresentations".
He was also found guilty of authorising a payment of over R2 million for purposes that were not legitimate or permissible.