Cope’s former youth leader Anele Mda rejoins ANC

Born in Bizana in the Eastern Cape, Mda grew up in Mthatha and went on to become an executive committee member of the ANC Youth League.

Read The rise and fall of Anele Mda

She defected to the Congress of the People (Cope) when it split from the ANC in 2008.

At the time, she said defectors to Cope had “jumped off the train when they saw that it was not going in the direction they liked”.

In November that year, Cope had to apologise after Mda reportedly called President Jacob Zuma “a rapist”, even though he was acquitted of rape in 2006.

She reportedly said, in the run-up to the general election, that if the ANC was re-elected into government under Zuma, “rape would no longer be a criminal offence”.

She was suspended less than a year later in September 2009 after reportedly calling Cope’s deputy general secretary Deidre Carter a “stupid, token white bitch”.

However, the suspension was lifted just two months later when she apologised for “any prejudice my utterances might have caused”.

At a disciplinary hearing she pleaded guilty to making racist, sexist and politically intolerant remarks towards Carter.

Zuma was present at the announcement of Mda’s return to the ANC on Monday, but did not speak.

He left the talking to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

Mantashe said the ANC invited all those who had left “to come back”.

“Come make noise here … ANC is their home,” he said.

Explaining her decision to return to the ANC, Mda said Cope had shown no political vision.

“I’m back and more wise now,” she said. She has been given no position within the ANC.

Cope was established by former defence minister and ex-ANC chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota, his former deputy Mluleki George and former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa, who broke away from the ANC after it decided to recall former president Thabo Mbeki from office. They accused the ANC’s new leadership of deviating from the freedom charter.

The party has since been beset by infighting and recently split into two factions, one led by Lekota and the other by Shilowa.

In February, Shilowa was barred from Parliament. His faction later failed to timeously submit any lists of candidates for the local government election to be held on May 18. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

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.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

2019: The ones who left us

From Uyinene Mrwetyana, Oliver Mtukudzi to Xolani Gwala, Mail & Guardian remembers those who have passed on

More battles ahead for domestic worker unions

Florence Sosiba, speaks to the Mail & Guardian about how important domestic workers are and exclusion in the COIDA

“Life has been good to me, considering where I come from” – Xolani Gwala

Just over a year ago, veteran radio presenter Xolani Gwala’s cancer was in remission. He spoke to the Mail & Guardian once he was back on air.

Kanya Cekeshe’s lawyer appeals decision not to grant him bail to the high court

Kanya Cekeshe’s legal team filed an urgent appeal at the Johannesburg high court on Tuesday against Monday’s judgment by magistrate Theunis Carstens.

Leader’s principal aim to build IFP

Gravitas: Velenkosini Hlabisa brings his experience to his new post as leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Police Minister Bheke Cele addresses Jeppestown

Police minister Bheki Cele visited Jeppestown on Tuesday to speak to business owners and community leaders.

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Vitamin therapy is for drips

It may be marketed by influencers, but intravenous vitamin therapy is not necessary and probably not worth the hype, experts say

Facebook, Instagram indiscriminately flag #EndSars posts as fake news

Fact-checking is appropriate but the platforms’ scattershot approach has resulted in genuine information and messages about Nigerians’ protest against police brutality being silenced

Murder of anti-mining activist emboldens KZN community

Mam’Ntshangase was described as a fierce critic of mining and ambassador for land rights.

Unite with Nigeria’s ‘Speak Up’ generation protesting against police brutality

Photos of citizens draped in the bloodied flag have spread around the world in the month the country should be celebrating 60 years of independence

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday