Cope youth: Shilowa an ANC ‘mole’

Cope co-founder Mbhazima Shilowa is an ANC “mole” planted to destroy the breakaway party, the Cope Youth Movement (CYM) claimed on Wednesday.

“The chief mole is Shilowa, tasked to destruct [sic]… the organisation,” CYM secretary Abel Rangata said.

The faction of the youth movement aligned to apparent party leader Mosiuoa Lekota — which claims to have been legitimately elected — was addressing reporters in the foyer of the Metropolitan Building, Cope’s new Johannesburg headquarters.

“The tensions and hassles … were not just motivated by mere ambitions of individuals … They are fuelled by the ANC who have planted moles in our organisation since its inception,” Rangata charged.

He could not provide evidence of the allegation.

“We don’t have information that we can give you … These are very secretive plans. It’s not paranoia, it’s a fact … You wait and see.”

Plot hatched in ‘ANC war room’
The main aim of the ANC’s alleged plan to “destabilise” Cope was to deliver it back to the ruling party.

“It’s a plan hatched in the war-room of the ANC.”

Shilowa on Wednesday declined to be drawn on the allegations.

“I do not want to comment on these allegations, I am busy with party work and preparation for local government elections,” he said in a brief telephonic interview.


The party has been plagued by a power struggle between co-founders Lekota and Shilowa. It is presently unclear who the legitimate president of the party is, because both men claim the title.

According to the Lekota faction, Cope’s chaotic elective conference in December was abandoned due to violence and disruptions. The Shilowa camp however claimed the conference held a legitimate election and a new leadership had been appointed.

Locked out
The Cope youth members who hosted the media briefing and other Lekota-aligned members were locked out of the Cope offices on Wednesday morning by a group of security guards apparently appointed by the Shilowa faction.

Burly men in black suits stood guard outside the door, preventing anyone from entering. The police were called in to help the Lekota-aligned members gain entry to the offices by midday.

Nikiwe Num, Cope’s acting general secretary, said the leadership was “protecting Cope’s property and the smooth running of the party” by hiring security guards to bar entry to those wanting to cause “anarchy”.

“We received information yesterday that those who illegally declared themselves as leaders of the youth movement planned to have a press briefing at the offices.

“… a meeting in December, chaired by the former president, Mr Lekota, rejected this youth movement,” she said.

Despite having two self-proclaimed presidents and youth movements, Num was adamant there was no split in Cope.

“There is no split. There is just a small group of individuals still calling themselves the national leadership,” she said. – Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Natasha Marrian
Natasha Marrian
Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.
Advertising

Coalition politics and law: The fight over Tshwane

With coalition politics on the rise, particularly in local government, this kind of court case is likely to become more common

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread
Advertising

Press Releases

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday