Court bars Shilowa from Parliament

2011-02-12 07:26

Johannesburg - Cope's co-founder Mbhazima Shilowa has been barred from Parliament after the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg granted an interim order to its rival faction, Shilowa's spokesperson said on Friday.

"The court granted an interim order for a month barring Mr Shilowa from Parliament," said Sipho Ngwema.

"The order doesn't say he cannot be an MP, it just says he must not go to Parliament."

Shilowa received a 250-page court document at midnight on Thursday relating to an application made by his rival Mosiuoa Lekota.

The delivery of the court documents came just hours after President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address in Parliament where the two co-founders hesitantly sat alongside each other.

"He [Shilowa] was supposed to respond by 10:00 but he only briefed his counsel this morning and then the court gave the order," said Ngwema.

Justice Watt-Pringle said it was an urgent matter as it wanted access into Cope's bank accounts.

"They used us an excuse," Ngwema told Sapa.

Shilowa intends challenging the order as soon as possible.

The order interdicted Shilowa from misrepresenting himself and ordered him not to interfere with the applicant's bankers.

He was also prohibited from preventing the applicant or his office bearers from carrying out their business at Cope's Johannesburg offices.

Shilowa had to pay the costs of the application.

Lekota's spokesperson, Phillip Dexter, added that the court had recognised Shilowa's expulsion from the party. This could not be verified.

He said Shilowa was no longer entitled to his MP seat and that the leadership would now deliberate on filling it at National Assembly.

There was a possibility that Shilowa also faced criminal charges of money laundering and fraud relating to the misuse of Cope's money. The Hawks were investigating, Dexter said.

The ANC-breakaway party has been plagued by a power struggle between Lekota and Shilowa for some time. It is presently unclear who the legitimate president of the party is because both men claim the title.

According to the Lekota faction, Cope's chaotic elective conference in December was abandoned due to violence and disruptions. The Shilowa camp however claimed the conference held a legitimate election and a new leadership was appointed.

  • phetshula - 2011-02-12 08:11

    Party highly characterised by power hunger,and "condescendence" and made out of anger,lIke the new "NFP= NO FUTURE PARTY","good bad" political lesson for Africa.

  • Singo - 2011-02-12 08:26

    not coping

  • Banki-Moon - 2011-02-12 08:26

    The damage is already done! There is no way cope can convince the voters again.

  • multicon - 2011-02-12 09:09

    If I was backing anyone in COPE it would be Lekota.

  • Swartvel - 2011-02-12 09:14

    Shilowa is a spy for the ANC, common people cant you see this..the ANC is using communist tactics...Lekota dont let this carry on and give this savage ANC party a blood nose, you go Lekota!!!

  • Charl - 2011-02-12 09:17

    How could it not be "verified" - the court order is very clear on this issue. Just read it. Shoddy journalism.

  • martinmenge - 2011-02-12 09:57

    The only way COPE was ever to become a true opposition party was lost from the get go. If we are to believe the Wikileaks of US cables that Mbeki was behind the formation of COPE, the golden opportunity was lost. On his recall statement, Mbeki could have made a statement reflecting the following. 1. Accepting the recall as part of the democratic process 2. explained that the organisation has changed completely in character to the one that elected him. 3. announce his intention to form a new party. After this he should have stood his ground openly and cohesively behind the formation of a new party. How can one start a new party following a leader that in public has no interest in the party. The only reason I can see Mbeki not using this strategy is that he feared is could cause civil unrest. This is unfortunate, because South African politics could have been divided between two alternatives born out of the ANC. Now, in the long term, the only viable opposition that could possibly emerge will be born from the DA. With political allegiance, for the most part, entrenched in racial alliances South Africa may not see a viable opposition ever. This might be fine, as long as the ANC remains the democratic organ it has been thus far. However, it only takes one enigmatic leader to carefully unravel the internal democratic mechanisms.

  • Marietjievd - 2011-02-12 10:50

    The death of cope is li cancer coming from within no external etiology

  • Danie - 2011-02-12 11:59

    Could someone please act as a peacemaker between these two guys who have served the nation with distinction. The more they bicker the more the good they have done for the country will be forgotten by the people. The struggle for power is driven by desire. Ask both to make peace with them selves and with the other. They are like two puppies fighting over a bone.

  • Rodney - 2011-02-12 12:02

    Go Philip and COPE...Dexter has always stood up against corruption as far back in 2004 where he closed the Mpumalanga Economic Empowerment Corporation down due to fraud, for which he was forced out of the ANC led alliance...his legacy against crime in COPE continues...lets hope they can now build some stability with the takers being removed!!!!

  • Mxhuma - 2011-02-12 16:05

    Shilowa promised last week that come the end of February, COPE will again be one united party. Now it is clear that that is not gonna happen - if this story is to be believed. I honestly do not see COPE rising up again. It is badly damaged.

  • paulmandlankosi - 2011-02-13 09:11

    Cicus of the Poepols

  • dannel38 - 2011-02-14 13:51

    COPE can rise up if the leadership struggle ends. The voters will remain loyal to Cope. It is the only alternative to the ANC and DA. Who else is there as an alternative.

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