Lekota admits he charged at Shilowa

2013-07-10 16:51

Johannesburg - Cope was not in a position to hold a credible elective congress in May 2010, party president Mosiuoa Lekota told the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"We had not fulfilled the obligation to set up structures at branch, regional, and provincial level," he said.

"Huge chunks claimed they had been excluded... and some provinces were far behind."

Leadership battle

The court is trying to ascertain whether a Congress of the People conference held in May 2010 qualified as a quorum congress or an ordinary policy conference, as part of the on-going leadership battle since Mbhazima Shilowa was ousted.

Lekota said the party's congress national committee met just prior to the May 2010 event, and decided it would be a policy conference because the party was not ready for an elective congress. This body had the power to settle the matter.

The party's membership database was also dysfunctional at the time, he said.

"We had no foundation on which we could rely to run a credible congress."

According to Cope's constitution, party leadership elections were meant to be held in the year preceding a national election.

Lekota said that, being a policy conference, the meeting did not have the power to modify the party's constitution.

A second attempt to hold an elective congress in December 2010 was abandoned because it dissolved into violence.

Charged at Shilowa

Lekota said he had "lost his cool, I'm sorry to say", and tried to charge at Shilowa.

"I tried to charge him and I was blocked by a lady. I'm sorry and ashamed that it happened, but I am a human being... .He was lucky that I was stopped," Lekota said, to the amusement of his supporters in the court room.

In February 2011, Lekota obtained an interim court order recognising him as president of the party and restraining the ousted Shilowa from claiming the title of party leader.

On 8 February that year Lekota expelled Shilowa from the party after an internal disciplinary hearing. Shilowa refused to participate. He was found guilty of mismanaging the party's parliamentary funds.

On 18 July 2012, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria struck an application by a faction of Cope aligned to Shilowa off the roll. The application was to stop further disciplinary hearings against Cope members pending the outcome of the Shilowa-Lekota leadership dispute.

Judge Ronel Tolmay ruled that the application by five Cope leaders in Gauteng and Limpopo was not urgent.

The application was brought by caucus leader Ndzipho Kalipa, whip Moses Mayekiso and Clara Sodlulashe-Motau, all of the Gauteng legislature; and Solly Mokhatshoa and Mabule Motubatse of the Limpopo legislature.

Lekota opposed the application, saying it was not urgent. Cope would become ungovernable if the party could not discipline its members, he said at the time.

  • Raymond Kok - 2013-07-10 16:58

    i hope this sorry saga will be laid to rest now, you got work to do

      Poloyatonki Kgosi - 2013-07-10 18:18

      Greedy morons, COPE is a epic fail.

  • Joshua Kgorutle - 2013-07-10 17:00

    Only a woman can stop Lekota, not a man

      Nettie Potgieter - 2013-07-10 17:30

      If it was Zuma she would have been flat on her back and possible pregnant!

      Johan Lombaard - 2013-07-10 18:02

      Sharp Nettie, very sharp.

  • Marhumbu Ya Vahlave - 2013-07-10 17:01

    A big flop

  • Ramosoeu Matli - 2013-07-10 17:05

    Good to have your day in court Mr Lekota. We respect you for that... unlike some leaders whose names elude me. They do their best not to prove their "innocence"

      Nettie Potgieter - 2013-07-10 17:20

      The name No 1 comes to mind.

      Ramosoeu Matli - 2013-07-10 17:41

      I was gonna go for The Principal but yes.

      Phill Sarefa - 2013-07-11 17:07

      Let me remind you who they are: They are the ZUMAS

  • Basie Mabasana - 2013-07-10 17:11

    U can't have two bulls in one kraal both fighting for dominance. Lekota and shilowa's fight for leadership is hurting cope.

  • Gert Van Wyk - 2013-07-10 17:18

    Third World Politics at its best Obtaining an interim court order to be recognised as party president Self Appointed Leader With No Structures in Place the party's membership database was dysfunctional .no foundation on which to rely to run a credible congress." Sounds like Uncle Bob UP north

      kalabafazi - 2013-07-10 17:46

      I was thinking along similar lines. It's all about the power and zilch about the people.

  • Kenny Ntamela - 2013-07-10 17:21

    shilowa n lekota is a left over @polokwane confrence 2007 n now is fighting for president n money of the party

  • Ramohapelwa Sbero Berries - 2013-07-10 17:25

    I'm sorry.... He is lucky I was stopped. My my my!

  • Ernest Ratjatji - 2013-07-10 17:27

    i thought cope will cope,unfotunately the stresshold limit was so sever.

  • Truth.nnete - 2013-07-10 17:37

    Cope is dead,I will like see one person who intend to vote for it

  • Grant Cooper - 2013-07-10 17:44

    I don't I would want to vote for a party like this if they can't sought themselves out can you imagine what kind of government theu would administer.

  • Mbali Lihle Mbatha Ngcobo - 2013-07-10 18:11

    Indlu yegagu iyanetha

      Siyabonga Biyela - 2013-07-11 10:53

      he he he!

  • Mfana Khuzwayo - 2013-07-10 18:33

    Cope should just join AGANG :-)

  • Stanley Langa - 2013-07-10 20:24

    Cope, I'm lost for Hope with you guys. You wanna start making noise only now, cuz of upcoming elections?

  • Sipho Shabalala - 2013-07-10 22:14

    Power hungry greedy bastards

  • Bolawana Carol Masao - 2013-07-11 01:25

    rumour has it that COPE is joining DA, hehehe Maddam run away otherwise u'll be in court everyday Lekota fighting u for being a DA leader lol

  • precious.yumyum - 2013-07-11 03:32

    Male egos at play, at the expense of a political party that actually had hope!

  • Thabani Mhlongo - 2013-07-11 09:10

    Mmmm!!! I rest my case!!!

  • Phill Sarefa - 2013-07-11 17:09

    Lekota, you are too greedy. look where Dexter, your spokesperson, is now. It should tell you something.

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