The Congress of the People (Cope) on Friday confirmed Bishop Mvume Dandala as its selection for presidential candidate.
Cope’s leadership race was expected to be a tussle between its two high-profile leaders, Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa, but Dandala, former head of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, emerged victorious after being nominated by the provinces.
Dandala’s selection is seen as a way for the party to contrast the image of African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma, who may answer to corruption charges later this year.
”South Africa needs an honest, trustworthy and highly skilled leader, someone who can restore to our people hope and belief in our country,” Cope said in a statement.
”We need a leader we can look up to and respect, a leader who can inspire South Africans to take our nation from being a good one to a great one.
”We need a leader who represents the values that we in Cope espouse, honesty, hard work and family values,” it said.
”This election is a crossroads for South Africa. Cope stands for clean governance that efficiently delivers service to the people.
Dandala has a master of arts in theology from the Cambridge University, an honorary doctorate of theology from the Protestant University in Cameroon and an honorary doctorate of philosophy from the University of Transkei.
He was awarded the Silver Order of the Grand Counsellor of the Baobab by former president Thabo Mbeki in 2002 and the Peace Award from the Methodist Church of Southern Africa in 1994.
Dandala has two children, former Isidingo star Hlomla Dandala and daughter Thobeka.
He hails from the Eastern Cape but currently resides in Gauteng.
The process to select national and provincial candidates would resume on Monday, the party said. — Sapa