Not too late for Cope – Lekota

2013-10-18 11:03

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Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota apologised to Cope voters after the South Gauteng High Court today declared Lekota’s leadership of the party legitimate.

Speaking outside the court, Lekota said we “owe an apology to those people who came out to support us”.

“We are very sorry that it took so long to correct this miscreant,” referring to Mbhazima Shilowa and what Lekota has called an illegitimate attempt to seize the leadership of the party.

Acting Judge Craig Watt-Pringle did not read out his entire judgment in the bruising legal battle between Lekota and Shilowa, but he did find that Lekota had not created a “parallel leadership” structure in Cope.

A copy of the judgment was not immediately available. Watt-Pringle also held that there was no finding that Shilowa was the parliamentary leader of the party.

Speaking outside court today, Lekota hailed the judgment as a victory and said that anybody who had transgressed any of the values, policies or practices of the party should appear before an arbitration board of three retired judges.

Lekota also said “it is not too late” and called on South Africans to swell the ranks of the party.

“The long night that has hung over our party is now gone forever. We call on all those who have been disappointed ... To come back to the ranks of the party.”

Lekota said the country was “going down the drain” and warned that “your own future is in danger if you continue to vote for a party that is completely surrounded by corruption”.

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