Meet the COP: Dissidents finally settle on party name
A leader of the African National Congress breakaway movement, former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa, on Thursday unveiled the name of the new party to be formed.
Addressing about 200 ANC dissidents in Cape Town, Shilowa said the new party would be called the Congress of the People.
“This is the name we are going to register on Monday with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC),” he said.
Shilowa, who said the name was decided after several people had sent in SMSs. He stated that the name resonated with the breakaway movement’s vision to unite all South Africans.
“We are not going to build a small party—we are building a giant party,” he said.
Shilowa also used the event to welcome three new recruits who had just resigned from the ANC.
The three—Mzukisi Gaba, Khayelethu Hamana and Bravis Maqasha—cited former president Thabo Mbeki’s recall and demands by the ANC leadership for a political solution to ruling party president Jacob Zuma’s legal problems, as some of the reasons that made them leave.
“I was placed in an invidious position where I found myself having to defend the indefensible,” Gaba told the gathering.
Shilowa said divisive statements by Zuma at a recent rally in Soweto, where the ANC president attacked the breakaway movement for inviting Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille to last week’s national convention, was one of reasons people were leaving the ruling party.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa and the Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi were some of the people who were given a platform at the convention.
“Why single out Zille, I do not want to assume it’s because she is white. If the ANC can align itself with the party of Verwoed, why can we not align ourselves with other South Africans,” Shilowa asked. - Sapa