Ngonyama: Cope will rise like a phoenix

2012-06-11 13:59

Cape Town - The Congress of the People is set to rise from the political ashes, its acting deputy president Smuts Ngonyama said on Monday.

"Cope will now rise... like a phoenix... and move up to higher levels once more," he told reporters in Cape Town.

At his side was Mluleki George, one of Cope's founders in 2008.

George - together with current leader Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa - quit the ANC to establish the new party, which went on to garner 7.42% of the vote in the 2009 election.

Jumping forward

In the years that followed, Cope was riven by a leadership tussle between Lekota and Shilowa. The latter was subsequently sacked from the party, though continues to pursue the matter through the courts.

George, who was previously also at odds with the party, told reporters it was now time "to take one step back in order to take a jump forward".

Cope needed to prepare "to contest the general election in 2014". He believed the party still had an important role to play in the South African political scene.

"We are making a call to all Cope members, including those who were suspended and expelled, to join this genuine effort for unity and unification of all structures of the party," George said.

He was welcomed by Ngonyama, who said the day marked a "milestone" in the history of Cope.

Asked whether the party had lost members as a result of its years-long infighting, Ngonyama admitted that it had lost some, mainly back to the ANC.

‘Renew your membership’

"We did lose some numbers, but not a big number of people," he said.

He announced plans for the party's leadership to complete a tour of the provinces "to mobilise Cope supporters" ahead of an "all-inclusive" party congress later this year.

"We call on everybody to renew their membership and be ready for the establishment of constitutional structures at all levels this year," Ngonyama said.

Lekota was not present at Monday's briefing.

Ngonyama said he was in Johannesburg dealing with legal issues around Shilowa's court bid.

  • Loo - 2012-06-11 14:09

    RISE ??? rather make a deal with the DA ,,, rising in your case is like saying "Our submarine will be breaking the surface soon" Hardly a rise to talk about.

      thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2012-06-11 14:32

      If COPE could get 10% and DA 25% that would be pretty cool. They would run PE in coalition, DA would get Gauteng and possibly NC. The IFP/NFP will strengthen if Zuma is ousted and that will add another few opposition percentage points... We need a strong opposition in South Africa - I think the ANC would also perform better if it was held to task more by a stronger opposition..

      Squeegee - 2012-06-11 15:06

      Noooo! They messed up Cope. We don't need these power hungry 'leaders' messing up the DA too.

  • dikotsim - 2012-06-11 14:10

    SA needs a strong COPE. DA is just a noise maker and watchdog, that is its role...we need Cope to challenge politically. Do not make assumptions about my political affiliation...hehehe.

      Dee - 2012-06-11 15:54

      I couldn't possibly guess your political affiliation - but will deduce that it is not a party concerned with 1)Good governance leading to 2)Business confidence leading to 3) Job creation leading to 4) Revenue collection leading to 5) Service delivery and 6) Doing this efficiently and without tolerance of corruption, nepotism and appointing unqualified people to the job.

  • Lunga - 2012-06-11 14:11

    Cope, a joke without a punchline.

      Glyn - 2012-06-11 14:18

      You are a punchline without a joke! Viva DA! Viva COPE! We can do it together!

  • dennis.vermaak.5 - 2012-06-11 14:16

    Rise from the gutter where your leaders put it with your leadership squabbles !! Too many wannabe chiefs and not a lot of kleva peepole !!

  • Glyn - 2012-06-11 14:17

    Go COPE! Go! You can get that 6% back plus some. I see COPE as the loyal opposition to the DA in the next government. Vote DA! or COPE! or boycott the anc shambles.

      Kala - 2012-06-11 14:50

      It would split the opposition to the ANC.

      Abby - 2012-06-11 16:05

      A coalition with Cope will not break even, that will be the death of DA. Cope will engulf DA along with its tragedies and conflict that keep on occuring continously like cancer.

  • Oom - 2012-06-11 14:18

    Good luck COPE, I think you want the best for our country...

  • Phumi - 2012-06-11 14:29

    Cope is chained into two anchors that is Mosiou Lekota and Mr "Didnt struggle to be poor" Ngonyama that is why it will never take off! These two are power hungry and greedy who do not represent the tru aspiration of the majority in the republic!

      Abby - 2012-06-11 14:35

      From where did the rsie from? (Smuts) from the grave? Where he has been all along? Sleeping in parliament? I see this court case is still on and they are advised to renew their membership, better close shop and go back home.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-06-11 14:32

    'rise from the ashes like a phoenix' *bows respectfully* aai senshai

      Alan - 2012-06-11 14:46

      "Rise from the ashes like a phoenix." Lets hope it does not end up looking like Phoenix outside Durban!

  • derk.woldendorp - 2012-06-11 15:03

    they need a lot of Viagra to rise

      leko.dada1 - 2012-06-11 16:39

      Even viagra wont help! reality check clinic does help.

  • marko.miladinovic.52 - 2012-06-11 15:13

    Does that mean they are going to rise, fly, catch fire, and then crash and burn? Aftr all that is what a Phoenix is.

  • zile.sotyantya - 2012-06-11 15:28

    Smuts it's in our best interest to shut your mouth for good,'cause you are finished

  • Nyiks11 - 2012-06-11 15:39

    COPE would perform better at the polls if it got rid of its power hungry leadership , But I don't see that happening anytime soon .

  • Darra - 2012-06-11 16:06

    lost the momentum. Get it back? Such a great pity. But the nature of the game seems very much the same. Ambition ..... misguided ambition Sad.

  • Martin - 2012-06-11 16:10

    what goes up, must come down

  • Tolo - 2012-06-11 16:12

    We thank u george this show u back 4 gud let's put past behide us and work as a team to make south africa a better country ppl may enjoy staYing in..vha COPe vha

      Honest - 2012-06-11 16:23

      Politicians forget voters do apply their minds to these silly tricks

  • Thapelo - 2012-06-11 16:19

    That one is a dream in a pipeline.

  • barry.dogg.fritz - 2012-06-11 16:27

    bwahahahaaaaaa , comedy central time , why did the cow cross the road , cause his master promised him better pastures

  • herman.mosima - 2012-06-11 16:27

    i voted Cope in the last election with the hope than Shilowa issue would be sorted quickly. I want him back. you are then quaranteed my vote. I love Cope but dont approve of most of the unknown present leaders, Lekota included.

  • Charles - 2012-06-11 17:31


  • Andrew - 2012-06-11 18:18

    Cope is still young. Let them grow. This will be good for democracy. Watch the next elections. Cope will have more than 15%.

      Tefo Willington Keele - 2013-07-09 21:15

      Rise....We hope it does.After what the leadership did to loyal supportes,we really wonder.but me personally I pray ANC comes stronger and bigger.

  • Emmanuel Chauke - 2012-06-11 20:44


  • phumlani.veliti - 2012-06-11 20:46


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