Cope region loses office bearers

2011-08-01 08:54

Eight office bearers of the Congress of the People’s (Cope) OR Tambo region and four other members have left the party, they said in a statement complaining about co-founder Mosiuoa Lekota today.

“The project Cope which was charged with task of providing South Africans with an alternative vehicle to pursue the noble ideas entrenched in the Freedom Charter and defend the South African Constitution has, like the ruling party, proven to be a fiasco,” said a statement on behalf of the resigning members.

Cope, formed by disgruntled senior ANC members, was formed in 2008 and has contested a local government and a municipal election.

Since its formation, it has been unable to settle an internal dispute over who the leader should be, leading to two “factions” – one aligned to Mosiuoa Lekota and the other to Mbhazima Shilowa.

The statement said the party had failed to hold a democratic elective congress, with leaders resorting to court arbitration.

“We have witnessed persecution, vilification, purging and retribution to those who seem to be standing against the controversial dictator former Defence Minister Patrick Lekota abusing the political leverage the members of Cope have bestowed to him in trust and legal leverage bestowed in him by his masters,” they said.

Grievances included allegedly having their salaries withheld if they did not support Lekota, cronyism and breaches of organisational ethics.

They said they would rather choose to stand in the cold and watch the “gravy train pass by”, calling Cope the “Congress of the Person”.

Those who resigned were: Mrs L Liwani, the Eastern Cape provincial deputy; Mr. Z Gabela, the OR Tambo Region Secretary; Ms N Jafta, the OR Tambo Region organising secretary; Mr M Ndzabela, the OR Tambo regional elections coordinator; Mr M Qwaku, the OR Tambo regional deputy chairperson of the youth movement; Mr M Zintonga, the OR Tambo region additional member; Mr B Tswewu, the OR Tambo Region additional member; Mr V Mdze, the OR Tambo region additional member; Mr F Mampangashe, the KSD chairman; the Mr X Liwani, the KSD deputy secretary; Mr M Mqikela, the KSD Bongweni Branch chairman; and Mr N Qaba, a KSD additional member.

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