WikiLeaks cable nails Cope

2010-12-26 20:09
Johannesburg - Rival Congress of the People (Cope) ­leaders Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa “both have massive egos” and “want nothing more than to be ­president of South Africa”.

This is according to a leaked ­diplomatic cable from the US embassy in ­Pretoria, obtained exclusively by ­City Press.

The cable – one of 250 000 leaked to WikiLeaks and not yet public – quotes Cope’s former spokesperson and ­Lekota’s personal assistant, Tseliso Phomane, as saying: “Shilowa’s people are smart, but they are also ruthless. They will see to it that Lekota is pushed aside and that Shilowa is positioned to be the leader of the party.”

Phomane, who is no longer actively involved in the party, has described the cable as a “fabrication” and a “bundle of lies and inconsistencies”.

The power struggle between the two leaders reached new heights last week when Cope’s elective ­conference ended in a shambles, with Shilowa claiming victory amid rumours that he and ­Lekota nearly came to blows.

The cable, written by an unnamed US embassy political officer, is dated ­September 2 2009 and purports to ­record a meeting between embassy staff and Phomane in August last year.

But Phomane says he only met the Americans on three formal occasions: at the Cope launch, at a dinner where Lekota was hosted by the US ambassador, and at a meeting at the US embassy attended by Lekota and Cope’s former parliamentary leader, Mvume Dandala.

'Big egos'

Phomane expressed shock after ­reading a copy of the cable sent to him. He suggested there was a “scheme” to ­discredit him and “fabricate a picture that seeks to paint a view of how the Americans view Cope, its leaders or their idea of Cope”.

The cable, titled “Lekota personal ­assistant warns ‘watch out for ­Shilowa’”, details US embassy efforts to gain a deeper insight into the ­“continued ­political infighting that has plagued the party since it appointed Dandala as its presidential candidate over Lekota”.

The US embassy official concludes that “ongoing political infighting in ­Cope may not be entirely bad” as it “could rid the organisation of several big egos”.

It continued: “Shilowa and his allies may be ­‘ruthless’, but Gauteng was ­probably governed more effectively than the ­defence ministry was under Lekota.”

Cope spokesperson Phillip Dexter said: “The comments – if they are ­Phomane’s – are his personal view and do not reflect the view of the party.”

Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau, a US embassy spokesperson, said the cables comprised “day-to-day reporting from US embassies around the world to ­Washington and are not public ­statements or public policy”.
 
Read more on:    cope  |  wikileaks  |  mosiuoa lekota  |  mbhazima shilowa  |  mvume dandala
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Analyst Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd

Engineering Manager

Western Cape
Pro-Tech Recruitment
R850 000 - R1 100 000 Per Year

Mobile Marketing Manager

Western Cape
Recruit Digital
R15 000 - R22 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.