Mazibuko thinks Cope merger makes sense

2011-11-05 19:28

Campaigning in Nigel, east of Johannesburg, Mazibuko told City Press it was “senseless for opposition parties to fight among themselves for a small share of the national vote”.

She said it was up to Cope members to decide if they wanted to join the DA, as the Independent Democrats had.

It was Mazibuko’s first public appearance since being elected parliamentary leader. She was canvassing votes for a by-election in Arla Park.

Mazibuko also revealed that her colleague, Masizole Mnqasela, who insulted her during the party’s election campaign, can expect to be disciplined by Mazibuko herself.

“As leader of caucus, I want to talk to him in private because like many other DA MPs, I am deeply concerned about his personal and public attacks on me,” she said.

Mnqasela criticised Mazibuko’s appointment because, according to him, it was based on race and she is not experienced enough.

Her first focus was to unite the party’s caucus, divided over Mazibuko’s defeat of former parliamentary leader Athol Trollip.

Meanwhile, Mnqasela said he was fine with party leader Helen Zille comparing him to ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, but not to apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd. He wants an apology from Zille.

“There are structures inside and outside the DA where I can go if she (Zille) doesn’t apologise,” Mnqasela said.

Zille said on Twitter this week that where President Jacob Zuma had Malema, she had Mnqasela. She tweeted about “Verwoerdian thinking”, a repeat of what she wrote in her electronic newsletter, SA Today, on Monday, referring to Mnqasela’s racist utterances about Mazibuko.

Zille said on Friday that two complaints against Mnqasela had been handed to the DA’s federal council.

Meanwhile, there were renewed rumours that Cope and the DA could merge when it emerged that Cope’s Mosiuoa Lekota summoned key members to Joburg on Friday. This came shortly after his private meeting earlier that morning with Zille and Mazibuko.

The day before almost the whole of Cope’s caucus said unambiguously at a press conference in Parliament that they would not merge with the DA.

The meeting in Johannesburg was to discuss Cope’s money matters, while the one with Zille and Mazibuko was a continuation of talks between party leaders.

A memorandum in which Lekota discussed the Cope national committee’s plans for greater cooperation with opposition parties was leaked to the media this week.

Cope members, not only in Parliament, were apparently “on the verge of tears” when it became clear from the memorandum that a merger was imminent, an informed source told City Press.

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