WikiLeaks cable nails Cope

2010-12-26 20:09

Johannesburg - Rival Congress of the People (Cope) ­leaders Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa “both have massive egos” and “want nothing more than to be ­president of South Africa”.

This is according to a leaked ­diplomatic cable from the US embassy in ­Pretoria, obtained exclusively by ­City Press.

The cable – one of 250 000 leaked to WikiLeaks and not yet public – quotes Cope’s former spokesperson and ­Lekota’s personal assistant, Tseliso Phomane, as saying: “Shilowa’s people are smart, but they are also ruthless. They will see to it that Lekota is pushed aside and that Shilowa is positioned to be the leader of the party.”

Phomane, who is no longer actively involved in the party, has described the cable as a “fabrication” and a “bundle of lies and inconsistencies”.

The power struggle between the two leaders reached new heights last week when Cope’s elective ­conference ended in a shambles, with Shilowa claiming victory amid rumours that he and ­Lekota nearly came to blows.

The cable, written by an unnamed US embassy political officer, is dated ­September 2 2009 and purports to ­record a meeting between embassy staff and Phomane in August last year.

But Phomane says he only met the Americans on three formal occasions: at the Cope launch, at a dinner where Lekota was hosted by the US ambassador, and at a meeting at the US embassy attended by Lekota and Cope’s former parliamentary leader, Mvume Dandala.

'Big egos'

Phomane expressed shock after ­reading a copy of the cable sent to him. He suggested there was a “scheme” to ­discredit him and “fabricate a picture that seeks to paint a view of how the Americans view Cope, its leaders or their idea of Cope”.

The cable, titled “Lekota personal ­assistant warns ‘watch out for ­Shilowa’”, details US embassy efforts to gain a deeper insight into the ­“continued ­political infighting that has plagued the party since it appointed Dandala as its presidential candidate over Lekota”.

The US embassy official concludes that “ongoing political infighting in ­Cope may not be entirely bad” as it “could rid the organisation of several big egos”.

It continued: “Shilowa and his allies may be ­‘ruthless’, but Gauteng was ­probably governed more effectively than the ­defence ministry was under Lekota.”

Cope spokesperson Phillip Dexter said: “The comments – if they are ­Phomane’s – are his personal view and do not reflect the view of the party.”

Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau, a US embassy spokesperson, said the cables comprised “day-to-day reporting from US embassies around the world to ­Washington and are not public ­statements or public policy”.

  • veld66 - 2010-12-26 20:18

    They ar bloody useless the two of them.......

  • LUFC - 2010-12-26 21:30

    Phomane, who is no longer actively involved in the party, has described the cable as a “fabrication” and a “bundle of lies and inconsistencies”. HAHAHAHAH - Sure it is phomane. You... just like COPE... are a joke.

  • ArtGee - 2010-12-26 22:20

    Lekota = an ARSEHALF Silowa = another ARSEHALF Together they are a collective ARSEHOLE!

  • Lestor - 2010-12-26 22:21

    and to think people were getting excited about cope when they first launched.

      mduduzik - 2010-12-27 09:29

      They labelled themselves an alternative to the anc even some political analyst supported this idiotic statement.Cope idiots who are power hungry.

  • Airwolf - 2010-12-26 22:24

    This kind of of so called leadership just use "the masses" as voting fodder to pave their roads to riches and power. Should there be too much competition, then they turn on each other regardless of the consequences.

  • Francois - 2010-12-26 22:47

    Once again, we did not need Wikileaks for this - we already knew this. If off course, Wikileaks confirms that both Shilowa and Lekota are actually in it to give the ANC an overwhelming win in the 2014 elections, it might come as a bit of intellectual reasoning. One of you two, Shilowa or Lekota must go, if you care about the normal citizens of SA. You decide, but do so quickly.

  • secondstar - 2010-12-27 00:09

    Um what is the USA doing sending cables about Cope anyway? why are they meeting with them?? I call it subterfuge.

  • Zion - 2010-12-27 07:30

    Given what we currently have in the government and the presidency, any thing else can only be an improvement.

  • Jacques - 2010-12-27 08:29

    Spot on..............Hehehehehe

  • draadsitter - 2010-12-27 13:52

    Yawn... Cope became totally irrelevant quite a long time ago. A party formed out of infighting then fizzles itself out because of infighting. What's next? Another break-away party from Cope?

  • Thangy - 2010-12-28 09:30

    You can take the comrades out of the ANC but you cant take the ANC out of the comrades!!

  • Meanleader - 2011-03-30 13:17

    We need more disorganisations like COPE , to continue to wreek havoc with the ANC majority . The more wannaBEE parties , the less votes for OJ zuma and co .

  • pages:
  • 1