Shilowa: Cope is not an opposition party

Congress of the People co-founder Mbhazima Shilowa said on Saturday that the party was not planning to be an opposition formation but rather an alternative political platform.

Addressing Cope’s provincial congress in Germiston, Shilowa said their meetings in all provinces were aimed at creating a policy platform through which their election campaign would emerge.

“Those of us who are leaders of political parties must know that democracy means you get given a five-year contract.

“Hopefully, you utilise it effectively but at the end of that period you have got no inherent right to assume that people will elect you,” said Shilowa.

“They have the right, based on evaluation, to decide you did not earn that right to lead, that right to govern and that therefore they are going to take their vote elsewhere,” he said.

Meanwhile, Smuts Ngonyama, Cope’s head of policy, said on Saturday that the ANC’s attempt to stop it using its name would fail, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported.

This comes after the ANC filed an urgent high court application to stop the party from using the name.

Ngonyama was speaking at a Western Cape Cope policy conference at Mfuleni outside Cape Town. He said the Congress of the People was an event that the ruling party cannot claim exclusivity to.

Cope will begin its campaign ahead of Wednesday’s by-elections in Phillippi in the Cape Flats on Sunday. - Sapa

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