Lekota's Cope faction blasts Shilowa's 'fake' coalitions

A Congress of the People faction aligned to party co-founder Mosiuoa Lekota has ruled out forming any local council coalitions with the ANC.

The head of Cope’s governance, Thozamile Botha, said on Thursday that claims the party would side with the ANC as coalitions were formed in local councils around the country, were “irresponsible and misleading”.

“Claims by Mr Mluleki George on behalf of a fake faction of Cope that they would influence councillors to effectively rejoin the ANC by assisting them to gain control of certain local councils in the Western Cape, are grossly irresponsible and misleading,” he said.

George, who claims to be the party’s acting president, said earlier on Thursday that the party would side with the ANC as coalitions were formed in local councils around the country.

Serious reservations
He said although Cope still had “serious reservations” about the current character of the ANC, there was “no doubt” about its policies and commitment to transformation.

Botha said George’s comments were a repeat “of the fake factional lies” and “disinformation” spread before the elections, “purporting to be in control of the Cope election process”.

“The resulting confusion has had a negative impact on the election outcomes as many members were unable to vote for Cope in the absence of candidates in specific municipalities,” Botha said.

“The factual and legal position is plain and simple. Any councillor who succumbs to, or acts upon George’s ludicrous claims, will be summarily suspended and recalled from whatever council and/or position they may have accepted.”

Botha said Cope’s leadership structures were recognised by the Independent Electoral Commission, the custodian of party lists and representation in councils.

George said Cope’s national leadership met on Wednesday to deliberate on coalition prospects after a request from the party in the Western Cape. He said Cope had agreed to accept a mayoral position in Hessequa, a mayoral committee seat in Cederberg, and would become a speaker in the Laingsburg municipality.

The party would monitor its relationship with the ANC to ensure it was of benefit to the people, he said.

Cope kingmakers were “opting” for the leadership of Mbhazima Shilowa over his rival party leader Mosiuoa Lekota, he said.—Sapa

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