Cope youth wants Lekota expelled
Johannesburg - Congress of the People party leader Mosiuoa Lekota should be expelled from Cope and can even start his own party, the party's youth division said on Saturday.
"The youth movement will call for the party to expel Lekota, Deidre Carter, Smuts Ngonyama, Phillip Dexter and Thozamile Botha for bringing the name of the party into disrepute," said national secretary Malusi Booi in a statement.
"We believe that Mr Lekota and his cohorts can go and form their organisation if they feel so because everyone joins an organisation voluntarily."
Booi's comments came as part of a stream of criticism about the party's recent attempt to hold an inaugural congress.
Cope's second attempt at holding an elective conference in 2010 was aborted after violence erupted between supporters of Lekota and his first deputy president, Mbhazima Shilowa.
The leadership battle between the two has seen the party embroiled in mud-slinging matches and political contests since the formation of the ANC breakaway group in 2008.
On Friday, Lekota admitted that the party's second attempt at an elective conference was a failure.
However Booi said that the youth division recognised that "the elective congress continued to adopt the constitution, refined and adopted policy discussions...and further elected a central national committee which is led by Mbhazima Shilowa".
Separate youth leadership
Booi said "Lekota has an illusion to think that the organisation is his fiefdom" and that he was not willing to subject himself to democratic processes.
Earlier this week, a statement from Cope's youth wing, but which listed different leadership, declared their support for Lekota, until the current leadership was dissolved at the party elective conference.
"As for now we support the president of the party," said Cope youth president Nqaba Bhanga at the time.
On Friday, Lekota told journalists in Johannesburg that the party would try again to hold a national elective congress at some stage in the future.
"The Congress of the People in its present state remains in place and the leadership continues its work and in the near future will go on to hold an authentic first national congress of the Congress of the People."
He said that the violence at the congress was started by some members of the congress' national committee and some members of parliament who "stormed" those who were being registered and "roughed" them up, shredding registration records.
"A general free-for-all exploded."
Lekota said that one of the resolutions going forward would be that the working committee would receive recommendations of members who should be expelled for participating in the disruptions and who put the party in "disrepute through assault of delegates".
Asked if Shilowa would be included in this list, Lekota replied that if he was found to be one of these people he would be recommended for expulsion.