Dexter yo-yos back to ANC

2012-01-03 14:25

The Congress of the People’s member of Parliament Phillip Dexter has returned to the governing ANC.

Dexter, a key founding member of Cope, has resigned from the breakaway party after three years.

In a statement issued today, he said he left Cope after trying unsuccessfully to build the party because “whatever we set out to do when we formed Cope, that mission is one that has failed.

I joined Cope in the hope that we could defend the national democratic revolution and build non-racialism. I was profoundly mistaken.”

Instead, the party descended into an “unparalleled chaos of infighting, factionalism, maladministration and even corruption”.

Dexter will officially resign as a Cope MP when Parliament reopens.

On his choice to rejoin the ANC, the party he had accused of losing its vision and morals after it recalled former president Thabo Mbeki, Dexter said the ANC was the only organisation that “represents the best interests of us all”.

He rejoins the ANC on the eve of its 100th year anniversary on Sunday, a move that’s likely to give the governing party more ammunition to discredit Cope.

He said: “I would like to contribute to strengthening the ANC, the political home I have been part of for most of my adult life.”

But even when rejoining the ANC, Dexter continued to highlight the problems that saw former leaders defect to Cope.

“A combination of the material conditions which prevail in our society and the choices made by leadership has created whatever weaknesses there are in the ANC.”

But, he said, “there is no political organisation that does not have similar problems. These weaknesses can be overcome”.

Dexter, who served as Cope’s national spokesperson until recently, was “grateful” that the ANC welcomed him back.

“I feel a great sense of relief that this brief interregnum, where I sought to fight for the same things as the members of the ANC do from outside its ranks, is over.”

After writing on Facebook about his political move, Dexter was accused by his online friends of being a “hypocrite” who “runs from fence to fence” and goes “where he perceives the grass is greener”.

He was also told that he was playing “stomach politics”.

It’s been on public record for some time that Dexter was unhappy with Cope. Amid infighting within the party in May, he used a 19-page confidential document to call for the party to either be disbanded or relaunched.

He said Cope had degenerated into “a culture that mimicked the worst found in the ANC”.

He resigned as Cope’s head of communications in September but kept the member of Parliament position.

Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa have been engaged in a court battle for the party’s presidency for more than a year.

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