Cope confusion over new party

2011-01-23 22:44

Johannesburg - The suspension of Cope co-founder Mbhazima Shilowa by the party's former leadership structure on Sunday raised questions over whether a new party was formed.

Shilowa spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said co-founder Mosiuoa Lekota was being investigated by them because his faction may constitute a new political party.

"The office of the general secretary Nikwe Num will investigate whether or not the newly constituted structure as announced does not constitute a new political party," he said in a statement.

Num is a aligned to Shilowa.

"Cope would like to point out that Lekota is no longer a member of Cope's National Committee nor is he a president," said Ngwema.

The investigation would also decide whether Lekota should be removed as Cope's leader in Parliament, he said.

Head bashing and internal squabbles within the Congress of the People reached boiling point on Sunday, a day after the Lekota faction suspended Shilowa and several others.

Tickle each other's fancy

Ngwema said the suspension meant nothing to Shilowa because the meeting was not officially sanctioned.

"Yesterday's meeting was a gathering of friends who occasionally like to tickle each other's fancy by claiming that they have authority or standing in the organisation," said Ngwema.

"The gathering of people are supporters of Mosiuoa Lekota and that meeting was not an official meeting of the party."

Lekota's spokesperson Phillip Dexter claimed the meeting in Kempton Park on Saturday was a sitting Cope's national committee (CNC).

He said the Shilowa faction was "being childish" by not accepting their suspensions.

"The only people who can sanction a CNC is the CNC itself."

He warned that if Shilowa and his faction ignored the suspension they would have to face the consequences.

Abusing positions

Dexter said the suspended members faced charges relating to impersonating leadership, sabotage of its National Elective Congress (NEC), undermining the constitution of the party, and abusing positions of leadership.

They would have to attend a disciplinary hearing, he said.

Those suspended included Mluleki George, Nikiwe Num, Zale Madonsela, Ebrahim Sawant, Archie Ralo, Malusi Booi, Sam Kwelitha, Mbulelo Ncedane, Moegamet Majiet, Sam Kwelitha, Lolo Mashiane, Nozipho Didiza Ndlela and Ngwema.

Both Dexter and Ngwema could not confirm reports that Shilowa follower deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka resigned ahead of Saturday's meeting.

The ANC-breakaway party has been plagued by a power struggle between Lekota and Shilowa with both of them claiming to be the legitimate party president.

According to the Lekota faction, Cope's chaotic NEC was abandoned due to violence and disruptions.

The Shilowa camp however claims the conference held a legitimate election and that it was appointed as the new leadership of the party.

  • Paul - 2011-01-24 08:25

    I don't understand why they don't just form 2 parties. They are planning to change the name anyway, so instead of fighting, they should simply split. Then they can both be leaders, and the voters can decide who to support.

      Michael - 2011-01-24 10:06

      Can not agree more. We need strong opposition to the present ruling Party

      Ian - 2011-01-24 13:03

      lol a breakaway party from the ANC is now divided into two and you expect a strong opposition out of that? maybe if they join the DA

  • geotech.sarel - 2011-01-24 09:40

    Its time we get leaders that are passionate about this country, that dont draw lines between defferent races and take a stand against racism instead of leaders who leans towards his/her own skin colour, these new leaders lie to our faces, make empty promises and spend all our hard earned money, sleeps with currupt drug lords and mafia's. To the people of SA, follow your heart, dont be sheep and follow leaders, let then drown in their own greed and hatred. Be your own leader. A politician has his own views and always tries to convince people to follow him/her so they can get elected and abuse their powers you gave them. A politicin is as strong as his followers. Don't follow.

  • The Monk - 2011-01-24 09:47

    I had initially considered Cope to be a viable alternative to the ANC. Even if these 2 clowns had to reconcile, I would never vote for them. I think that they have lost so much support with their behaviour that it would not be possible for them to ever to be taken seriously again.

  • Will99 - 2011-01-24 10:05

    Just get to the end already!

  • Pop Idol - 2011-01-24 11:48

    One of these two dudes,and I suspect it may be Shilowa is an ANC agent working to break COPE down. Right now,COPE is becoming more of a source of amusement. I find it strange that a party cannot even get its act in order months before an election,hence the reason I suspect one of these two fellows are ANC agents.

  • Ian - 2011-01-24 13:00

    Circus = SA politics

  • COPEexpress - 2011-01-24 21:52

    the sad thing about all this is that, when one group constitute itself as a camp, the other no matter how legitimate they are inevitably seen as a camp as well.

  • Biza - 2011-01-25 16:23

    This whole fiasco is ambition driven (brutus).lol

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