Too early to call COPE's time of death, says Lekota

2019-05-10 21:36
Mosiuoa Lekota, cope
Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota is not ready to call the party's time of death.

Instead, he believes the party will be resuscitated after a poor performance in the elections.

In what has shaped up to be Cope's worst performance since their formation in 2008, by Friday evening the party was fighting for one seat in Parliament in terms of votes.

At 18:28 Cope had amassed 43 473 votes, making up just 0.27% of the electorate as the vote capturing process reached 95.18%. This in contrast to the first election Cope contested in 2009 where they got more than 1.3 million votes, scoring 30 seats in Parliament.

The following national election, Cope's support dropped drastically, only managing to get 123 235 votes which translated into three seats.

Despite the dramatic fall in popularity, Lekota was adamant that the party is not dead and buried.

He said Cope needs to be "operated on" in preparation for the 2021 local government 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 on Friday.

Lekota said they would now look to their councillors to mobilise on the ground and ensure that the party is rebuilt from that level.

"When you build a party, you must start at local level," he said.

Finance crunch

Lekota's analysis of Cope's poor showing at the polls came down to money, he said.

The party did not have the financial resources to advertise their brand and grow its footprint and did not have the financial muscle of the bigger parties.

"We did not have the amount of money as all these parties that benefited from the Guptas, Bosasa and VBS have," Lekota said.

"You must look at the amount of money that these guys have been throwing around.

"Buying vehicles, mobilising people, bussing people in to huge rallies and so on. We simply didn't have that money."

"The advertising that they pushed with posters everywhere, in every province you can see, posters. If you don't have that money, you can't match them."

Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place.

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