Cope rally ‘forced to white suburb’

2010-03-08 00:00

COPE president Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota was forced to relocate his party’s rally to a venue in a “white” suburb after alleged threats and intimidation yesterday.

Cope, which split from the ANC, was supposed to hold a rally in Clermon­t to launch its two branches in the Durban west township. The party claims that threats by local ANC supporters forced it to move the rally to the former “white” suburb of Ashley in Pinetown.

Cope provincial secretary Philip Mhlongo said that last week they booked the Vezamafa Primary School sports ground as the venue to hold the rally, which was going to be addressed by Lekota.

“On Thursday, when our members were clearing the path for parking at the sports ground, ANC supporters wearing kangas with ANC president Jacob Zuma’s face, came and intimidated them.

“We also received a complaint from an eThekwini Metro Council official who hired the venue to us. He said he was being accused of being a Cope member …

“We also received ‘advice’ from Metro Police security officials, who said we must relocate to the KwaDabeka Hostel sports ground. We decided against their advice because that sports ground is situated inside the hostel, which is pro-ANC.”

Mhlongo said at the last minute, they decided to hire a private venue at the Ashley sports centre “in order to peacefully hold our meeting”.

“… What angers us most is the fact that it is not for the first time that our meeting was blocked in Cler­mont.”

On February 28, Mhlongo said, “we had to abandon our launch after axe-wielding locals invaded our meeting and demanded permission for holding the meeting in ‘their’ area.”

Sihle Zikalala said the ANC has no knowledge of such an incident and has not mandated anyone to disrupt Cope’s meeting.

“We strongly believe in free political activity and that anyone has a right to be part of any political party. If there are such reports, we believe Cope should take the matter to the police,” Zikalala said.

Addressing Cope supporters at a tiny rugby club hall yesterday, Lekota challenged the leadership of the ANC to condemn and disassociate the organisation from the alleged threats and intimidation of Cope members.

“During the apartheid era, our people could not hold their meetings freely because of intimidation and killings. Now, under the ANC government, the same is happening. If the ruling party pursue this route, many of our people will again lose their lives. We need to make it quite clear that the people of South Africa want their freedom now, here and immediately …” Lekota said.

Lekota also took swipe at ANC president Jacob Zuma following weekend reports that he failed to declare his business interests before the National Assembly.

“If the leader of the party fails to declare, what could be expected from the ‘boy’ [ANCYL president Julius Malema].”

The Cope leader revealed that his party supports the re-introduction of the constituency representation system for the election of members to the National Assembly.

An ox was slaughtered in ho­nour of Lekota’s visit to Clermont as he once lived in the area

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.