FULL TEXT: Cope withdraws from parliamentary activites

2016-04-11 18:30

COPE WITHDRAWS FROM PARLIAMENTARY ACTIVITIES

Congress Executive Committee of the Congress of the People in its ordinary meeting held in Johannesburg today considered the judgement of the Constitutional Court given on Thursday 31 March 2016.

Congress Executive Committee noted that the refusal of the ruling party in parliament to act against the incumbent in the office of the President made it guilty of contempt of court.

Congress Executive Committee therefore resolved not to allow any COPE representative in the National Assembly to take part in its proceedings until there is clarity from the Constitutional Court on how to proceed.

Congress of the People is determined not to make itself guilty through participation in activities that are in contempt of court. Our representatives cannot break their oath of office.

To this end COPE, working with other like-minded opposition parties, will approach the ConCourt to seek clarity on the way forward.

Secondly, Congress of the People has noted with shock the declaration by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa that church leaders should not meddle in politics but that they should pray for government and government leaders.

Congress of the People places it on record that we reject this misguided statement by the Deputy President demeaning religious leaders with the contempt that it deserves.

We recall with deep gratitude those religious leaders who in the course of the struggle stood courageously by the oppressed people in the fight to overthrow apartheid. We remember how they rejected out of hand calls by leaders of the Apartheid regime not to stray into politics.  These outstanding religious leaders included the following who are no longer with us: Rev Motlalepule Chabaku, Rev Trevor Huddleston, Dr Beyers Naude, Archbishop Dennis Hurley, Rev Mkotgo, Imam Abdullah Haron and Sister Bernard Ncube. Amongst those who are still amongst the living are: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr Alan Boesak, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, Rev Frank Chikane, Rev Malusi Mpuhlawana, and many others.

It may be that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa slept through those years of the struggle when these men and women in the religious establishment stood up in opposition to Apartheid and spoke out against its evil.

Congress of the People will continue to meet and work with all opposition parties inside and outside of parliament to ensure that political leaders comply 100% with the Constitution. We have also resolved to give our fullest support to civil society movements, religious formations and all other organised groups who are working to defend the Constitution of South Africa.  

Read more on:    cope  |  politics  |  parliament 2016

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