Cope welcomes congress ruling

2010-05-23 22:18

Johannesburg - The Congress of the People on Sunday welcomed the decision by the Western Cape High Court to reject the urgent interdict to stop the province's congress that took place at the weekend.

"We are pleased with the court decision to reject the urgency of the application and therefore postponing it to May 27," said spokesperson Onkgopotse JJ Tabane in a statement.

The 11th hour legal challenge failed to prevent Cope's Western Cape congress from getting underway on Saturday. A faction linked to Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota brought the court application late on Friday night "but the judge had refused to hear it then".

The statement said Lekota and spokesperson Phillip Dexter were behind the court interdict.

"It is unfortunate that desperate tactics are being employed by senior party members to undermine internal democracy of Cope."

The Western Cape named Mosiuoa's deputy, Mbhazima Shilowa as its candidate to lead the party.

However the decision, taken at the provincial congress in Cape Town on Sunday, could be overturned if a high court challenge by the dissident faction is successful.

The party's secretary general, Charlotte Lobe said: "As we are in the final stretch to Cope's landmark elective congress, all sorts of tricks are and should be expected from anywhere to derail the conference, including court battles.

"We must reiterate (that) provinces are ready for conference and the congress preparatory committee would like to thank all the members that are working around the clock to ensure that the party does not disappoint its more than 1.3 million voters."