Cope speaks out on ANC defections

2011-04-19 17:04

Johannesburg - Cope said on Tuesday that the departure of a number of members was the "first honest thing" those leaving had done in a long time.

It said former government spokesperson JJ Tabane, lawyer John Ngebetsha, youth leaguer Lunga Kepe, actor Hlomhla Dandala and musician Zwai Bala, who left to join the ANC, had been part of a campaign to destroy the party.

"These individuals formed part of the core of the self-styled 'Shilowa Express' who have waged a sustained campaign from with the party to destroy it," said Congress of the People (Cope) spokesperson Phillip Dexter, referring to the party's co-founder Mbhazima Shilowa.

"Since the departure of others of their comrades in conspiracy, Cope has grown in leaps and bounds," he said.

The party, which was formed as a breakaway group from the ANC, has since split into two factions which are aligned with each of its co-founders - Mosiuoa Lekota and Shilowa.

Which Cope will show

The party has since been in turmoil over which one of them is its actual leader.

Shilowa has been barred from Parliament. His faction also failed to meet an Independent Electoral Commission deadline for the submission of candidates' names for the May 18 local government election.

Cope-Shilowa has since indicated it will not contest the elections. Cope-Lekota has said it would.

One of the defectors, Dandala, is the son of former Methodist Bishop Mvume Dandala, who was revealed to be Cope's presidential candidate in the 2009 elections.

Another defector, Ngebetsha, represented Shilowa in his legal challenges to Lekota's leadership.

‘Shilowa Express’

Meanwhile, the Cope Youth Movement expressed happiness that the group had left and said Tabane and Ngebetsha had seen Cope as a cash cow.

Lekota and Shilowa left the ANC with deputy defence minister Mluleki George to start Cope when former president Thabo Mbeki resigned from the ANC amid pressure relating to President Jacob Zuma's now dropped corruption charges.

At the time, Lekota was minister of defence and ANC national chairman and Shilowa was Gauteng premier and involved in the planning stages of the Gauteng Rapid Rail Link which became known as the "Shilowa Express".

They famously announced their "divorce" from the ANC on radio and after getting the third-most votes in the 2009 elections, and a brief period of stability, their media coverage has been dominated by the leadership dispute.

George was expelled from the party in March.


Read more on:    anc  |  cope  |  mbhazima shilowa  |  mosiuoa lekota  |  politics  |  parliament 2011  |  elections

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


SA political parties go to church

Leaders of different political parties have attended a church service at the Tyrannus Apostolic Church in De Deur.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.