Cope youth split

2010-09-17 18:50

Johannesburg - The Congress of the People's youth movement is the latest victim of divisions plaguing the fledgling party, with a move to disband the youth leadership on Friday.

Cope youth chairperson, Anele Mda, dismissed reports that the youth's national committee was disbanded. The Times Live website reported that Limpopo youth secretary, Abel Rangata, had announced the disbanding.

Rangata said eight provinces met and resolved to disband the committee, replacing Mda with Thabiso Tefo - a long-time rival.

Rangata was reportedly expelled from the youth movement by its national secretary Malusi Balooi in June.

The tussle in the youth movement came as the party prepared for its first national elective conference.

It aborted an attempt to elect leadership earlier this year due to the crippling leadership battle between party president Mosiuoa Lekota and his deputy Mbhazima Shilowa.

Rangata was reportedly aligned to Lekota. He could not immediately be reached for comment. Mda backed Shilowa.

She dismissed Rangata's group as "idling people who see themselves as angels who think they have a God-given talent to lead".

"It's not something we want to give attention to, it's not pre-occupying our minds at the moment. Some of these people, even their membership to the Congress of the People is doubted," Mda said.

However, Cope spokesperson Phillip Dexter said the party leadership was aware of the youth meeting, which took the decision to disband its leadership, and would be briefed on its outcomes on Monday.