Cope youth faction: Shilowa an ANC spy
Johannesburg - Cope co-founder Mbhazima Shilowa is an ANC "mole" planted to destroy the break-away party, the Cope Youth Movement claimed on Wednesday.
"The chief mole is Shilowa, tasked to destruct (sic)... the organisation," CYM secretary Abel Rangata said.
The faction of the youth movement aligned to apparent party leader Mosiuoa Lekota - who claim they are legitimately elected - was addressing reporters in the foyer of the Metropolitan Building, Cope's new Johannesburg headquarters.
"The tensions and hassles... were not just motivated by mere ambitions of individuals... They are fuelled by the ANC," Rangata charged.
He could not provide evidence of the allegation.
"We don't have information that we can give you... These are very secretive plans. It's not paranoia, it's a fact... You wait and see."
'ANC war-room plan'
The main aim of the ANC's alleged plan to "destabilise" Cope was to deliver it back to the governing party.
"It's a plan hatched in the war-room of the ANC."
Shilowa on Wednesday declined to be drawn on the allegations.
"I do not want to comment on these allegations, I am busy with party work and preparation for local government elections," he said in a brief telephonic interview.
The ANC-breakaway party has been plagued by a power struggle between co-founders Lekota and Shilowa. It is presently unclear who the legitimate president of the party is, because both men claim the title.
According to the Lekota faction, Cope's chaotic elective conference in December was abandoned due to violence and disruptions. The Shilowa camp however claimed the conference held a legitimate election and a new leadership was appointed.
The Cope youth members who hosted the media briefing and other Lekota-aligned members were locked out of the Cope offices on Wednesday morning by a group of security guards apparently appointed by the Shilowa faction.