Cope PMB in no-confidence vote

2010-10-19 00:00

AS next year’s local government elections approach, the problems of the Congress of the People (Cope) continue to pile up

The Pietermaritzburg region of the party has moved a vote of no confidence against the entire Cope leadership in the province.

The Witness was reliably informed that papers containing the motion were filed on Friday with the party’s top organisational structures — the congress national committee (CNC) and the congress working committee (CWC).

A source within Cope who asked not to be named said the vote of no confidence was sparked by allegations of financial irregularities within the party involving certain top provincial leaders.

The eThekwini region is understood to be opposing the motion.

“About seven regions of Cope in KZN are reportedly supporting the Pietermaritzburg region’s motion of the vote of no confidence.

“We are awaiting a decision by the head office on the matter. We are tired of these reports about financial irregularities involving monies allocated to the party by the provincial legislature,” the source said.

Last week The Witness reported on allegations of financial irregularities issued by the outspoken former provincial spokesperson of Cope, Siyanda Mhlongo, who accused some leaders in the province of misappropriating about R1,4 million allocated to Cope by the KZN Legislature.

In an SMS sent to a journalist, Mhlongo alleged that former Cope leader George Sithole, who has since returned to the ANC, was given R18 000, a Cope organiser was loaned R27 000 and R66 000 was paid for car maintenance and repairs, despite the fact that Cope KZN does not have a car.

Money has been spent on consultancy work, but the party has appointed no consultants. In addition, R150 000 was paid for legal fees and fines, although Cope insisted that it appointed no lawyers and does not understand why fines were paid as the party has never been fined in a court of law.

In addition, R60 000 was given to the provincial leadership before last year’s election campaign, but that money has not been accounted for.

Mhlongo is threatening to approach the Auditor-General with the report if the party does not appoint forensic auditors to investigate the matter.

Cope’s national spokesperson, Phillip Dexter, said he is not aware of the KZN motion, but promised to investigate. Cope provincial secretary Phillip Mhlongo confirmed that there is such a motion.

“I can confirm that the Pietermaritzburg region is promoting parallelism within the organisation. We plan to deal with this matter decisively. One Pietermaritzburg leader is being used by some whites who want to convert Cope into a white elephant. We will deal with this matter at the provincial general council on October 30,” Phillip Mhlongo said.

One Pietermaritzburg leader is being used by some whites who want to convert Cope into a white elephant. Phillip Mhlongo

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