/ 1 March 2011

Urgent application filed against Lekota

Urgent Application Filed Against Lekota

Congress of the People (Cope) co-founder Mbhazima Shilowa has filed an urgent application in the Western Cape High Court to be declared the legitimate leader of the party, his faction said on Tuesday.

"It was filed on Friday and we expect a response today [Tuesday] on whether they [Mosiuoa Lekota] will oppose or not," said spokesperson Sipho Ngwema.

The application stated that Lekota and his faction's membership to the party ended December 16 last year, upon which a new Congress National Committee was elected at Heartfelt in Pretoria.

This committee included Shilowa as the elected president of the party.

Ngwema said the application effectively sought to remove all power from Lekota's faction.

In the application, Shilowa and six other applicants request that the opposing faction be forbidden from holding any public office on behalf of Cope, including positions in the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces, provincial legislatures and municipal councils.

He requested further that the respondents could not: communicate on behalf of the party in any form, submit name lists to institutions of governance on the party's behalf nor hold any sort of caucus that went against party resolutions, directives and sanctions.

Lekota's faction had, by midday on Tuesday, not submitted their intention to oppose the application, Ngwema said. The deadline for written intention was 5pm.

They would then have until March 11 to submit answering affidavits before the matter was heard in court on March 22.

Lekota could not be reached for comment. — Sapa