Dexter: I did not call Cope dead
Johannesburg - Congress of the People communications chief Phillip Dexter defended his discussion document against "sensationalist" media reports on Thursday, saying he did not call the party dead.
"Today a number of newspapers have reported on a discussion document I have drafted in which I have put forward my personal view on the state of the Congress of the People... It is unfortunate that the response has been to sensationalise issues rather than to engage with the content I have raised," Dexter said.
"Any suggestion that I have said that Cope is dead is simply false... I have clearly articulated the possibility of renewal.
"Similarly, any suggestion that I blame the president of Cope for the state of the party is also false... I stated clearly that we, as the collective leadership, are responsible for the state of the party."
Dexter claims in his document that election lists were manipulated in 2009 as well as the 2011 elections.
"Currently, there are mayoral and councillor candidates who are not only inappropriate, but no member of the party can tell anyone how they were selected and by who. It is as if they fell from the sky."
He further claims that party funds were mismanaged and "routinely abused".
An article in The Times on Thursday quoted a party source saying Dexter's document was the "first shot fired in the leadership contest between Dexter and [Cope president Mosiuoa] Lekota" - although in an interview, Lekota said he did not see Dexter's document as an indication that he wanted to be party president.