Cope denies reports of Lekota's removal, insists 'AfriForum not our friends'

2019-05-14 18:56
Mosiuoa Lekota, cope
Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Cope leaders claim they are unaware of any intention to call for a motion of no-confidence in the party's president Mosioua Lekota, following reports that party members want him out.

"Up to now I haven't received a single letter for a motion from anybody and therefore I cannot say that there is any motion of no-confidence that I have received now," said Diratsagae Kganare, Cope secretary general.

"In terms of the Cope constitution, if anyone wants to bring forth a motion of no-confidence against any of the leadership of Cope, that person should put it in writing and send it to me [as secretary general]."

The questions were put to Kganare as a recent media report suggested that Cope members aim to have Lekota removed after the party's dismal showing at the polls.

Having earned 30 seats when it first entered Parliament in 2009, it could only muster enough votes in 2019 for two seats in the National Assembly.

An EWN report further suggested that Cope's association with right-wing lobby group, AfriForum is part of the reason the party's rank and file is unhappy with Lekota's leadership.

Some suggest the members believe Lekota entered into an agreement with AfriForum without adequate consultation nor consent.

Of the media reports, Kganare said: "I heard these rumours like everybody else and I want to say 'stop spreading rumours' because rumours and gossip are not factual."

"The only reason why we came together with AfriForum was in the defence of Section 25 of the Constitution. We don't share any other thing except our opposition to [the] amendment of Section 25."

'AfriForum not our friends'

"As far as we are concerned, we are not in alliance with them, they are not our friends, we just agree on one issue - opposition to the amendment of Section 25," he continued. The amendment to Section 25 deals with the contentious issue of expropriation of land without compensation.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said he was aware the story was in the news and that that was his only frame of reference.

"A journalist was telling me that he picked it up from some of the members of Cope that they want to pass a vote of no-confidence in the leadership of Mr Lekota."

"I heard it from a journalist from 702, so it will be very difficult for me to confirm or deny," Bloem said.

"This story is on social media doing the rounds, on Facebook, on WhatsApp, that is how far I can talk about it but I have not heard somebody confronting me with that type of story."

News24 previously reported that Lekota believes the party will be resuscitated after a poor performance in the elections.

"There were some mistakes that were made, and I am not sure what, but we are going to sit with the party structures to examine if there were any mistakes or misjudgements that we might have made," Lekota told News24 at the time.

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