Cope to seek legal advice on squabble

2010-04-30 10:36

The Congress of the People (Cope) is to seek legal advice on

whether a faction within the party can bring a motion of no confidence against

the party’s president Mosiuoa Lekota.

Reports are that a motion would be brought against Lekota at a

special meeting in Johannesburg this weekend.

“I imagine they can move such a motion, although it is not

officially on the agenda,” said Cope MP Phillip Dexter.

He said legal advice would be sought on whether a faction was

legally allowed to move a motion of no confidence.

Even in the event it could, he doubted the faction could garner

enough support for the motion.

Cope spokesperson JJ Tabane said he had not heard about a motion to

remove Lekota.

Cope’s youth leader Anele Mda, who has accused Lekota of using a

“mafia and thug approach” to leadership, said the youth movement had not yet

decided whether to support the motion. “Whether to support or not support

depends on what the collective will say.”

Lekota has accused his deputy Mbhazima Shilowa of neglecting his

duties as the party’s chief whip and chief accounting officer.

At a briefing in Cape Town on Wednesday, Lekota claimed Shilowa had

failed to organise an audit of the R20 million allocated to Cope by the National

Treasury after the party won 30 seats in the National Assembly in last year’s


With Dexter at his side, Lekota said he had yet to see a budget for

the party.

He said had called for a forensic audit into all Cope’s accounts so

that “the truth can come out”, but the suggestion had been rejected by the

party’s leadership.

SABC radio reported this morning that he had announced on his

Facebook page that he would challenge Lekota for Cope’s leadership at its

elective conference in May.

Cope was formed in 2008 after Lekota and Shilowa led a breakaway

group from the ANC in protest against Luthuli House’s decision to recall the

then president Thabo Mbeki.

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