Cope denies it is planning a merger with the DA

2011-11-03 13:38

Cope has denied planning to merge with the DA.

“We wish to categorically state that Cope has its own identity and vision,” senior Cope member Hilda Ndude told reporters at Parliament today.

“There are no intentions by its MPs to join the DA, or any other political party for that matter.”

Reports that the party was planning a merger were “very malicious”.

Earlier this week, the Sowetan newspaper claimed the party wanted its members to join the DA, following the election of Lindiwe Mazibuko as the DA’s first black parliamentary leader.

“Sowetan was reliably informed by insiders in both Cope and the DA that Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota has penned a paper in which he calls for increased co-operation with the DA,” the newspaper reported on Monday.

It quoted a “DA insider” as saying “key people will come over to the DA”.

Approached for comment earlier today, DA federal chairman James Selfe said there had been no official talks between the two parties.

Asked if he had been approached by Cope to discuss a merger, Selfe, who was in a hurry to attend a DA caucus meeting, replied: “No.”

Ndude told reporters at the briefing, which followed a meeting of her own party’s caucus, that the report in the Sowetan was “silly and very mischievous”.

She said Cope’s MPs “collectively reject reports that we are in merger talks that may see an exodus of Cope members joining the DA”.

While the “realignment” of opposition parties was a Cope dream, that had never meant a merger, Ndude said.

This did not rule out “co-operative arrangements” with other opposition parties in the 2014 elections.

However, the survival of Cope did not depend on other opposition parties, she said.

Cope MP Dennis Bloem said of the party’s 37 members, “not a single one ... has indicated they are ready to go to any other political party”.

While most members of Cope’s caucus were present at today’s briefing, party leader Mosiuoa Lekota was not.
“He has another meeting in his office,” Bloem told journalists.

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