Cope: deputy leader’s PMB talk draws 40

2008-12-23 00:00

An expected disruption of the first public meeting of the Congress of the People (Cope) in Pietermaritzburg last night did not materialise.

About 40 people attended the meeting at the Arya Samaj Hall in Khan Road, Raisethorpe, to hear Cope deputy secretary-general, Deidre Carter of Pietermaritzburg, in her first public appearance.

Carter said December 16, the day of Cope’s launch, was a red- letter day. In the newspapers, she had read about Cope leader Mosuioa Lekota singing Suikerbossie as a tribute to Afrikaners.

The gesture meant a lot to her, she said, because her grandfather composed the song, and later that day she was selected to help lead the party.

After the ANC disrupted Cope gatherings in Durban, similar action was expected in the capital. However, a source in the ANC said the party believes its presence gives Cope more publicity.

Carter said arrangements for the meeting did not go smoothly. Yesterday afternoon, Cope was asked by the committee running the hall for a letter guaranteeing the security of the facility.

A few hours before the meeting, the firm from which she had hired the public address system on Friday advised her it had “blown up” and was no longer available. “The explanation may have been genuine, but one can’t help feeling suspicious,” Carter said.

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