Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Cope announces support for Agang, DA merger

Congress of the People (Cope) president Mosiuoa Lekota praised the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Agang on the merger that he said is good for democracy. Lekota was reacting to news that Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele is the DA's presidential candidate and her party's merger with the country's official opposition party.

DA leader Helen Zille made the announcement on Tuesday morning in Cape Town, flanked by Ramphele and several prominent DA leaders.

Lekota said Cope has for some time advocated for all opposition political parties to forge a close working relationship.

"Soon after the formation of Cope, we were right at the forefront of reorganising opposition politics to make sure that we do not work against each other, but rather with each other, especially on areas where there is clear agreement," he said.

Cope had itself embarked on talks with the DA on possibilities of working together, but resistance from within the ANC breakaway party halted the move, with suspicions that the DA wanted to swallow Cope. The party however continued working with other opposition parties, resulting in an announcement of a coalition arrangement in December.

"We have recently taken this commitment a step further with the establishment of the Collective for Democracy, where the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) and the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) agreed to co-operate on 20 areas where the parties have taken a similar position," Lekota said in a statement after the DA’s announcement.

Opposition parties have held several talks over the past two years trying to find ways to unseat the ANC, a much stronger political party that’s been governing South Africa since 1994. Little progress had been made so far, but the DA's announcement signalled a step forward.

This is the second political party that has been folded by the DA, though Agang denies that merging with Zille's party means the death of the seven-month-old party. Patricia de Lille's Independent Democrats also merged with the DA and has now been dissolved into the second biggest political party in the country. 

Lekota sees this as strengthening the opposition: "This development [merger] is good for South Africa, and will go a long way in promoting multi-party democracy with a robust opposition and change of ineffective government," he said. 

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and receive a 40% discount on our annual rate..

Mmanaledi Mataboge
Guest Author

Related stories


Subscribers only

Seven years’ radio silence for taxpayer-funded Rhythm FM

Almost R50-million of taxpayers’ money has been invested but the station is yet to broadcast a single show

Q&A Sessions: Zanele Mbuyisa — For the love of people-centred...

She’s worked on one of the biggest class-action cases in South Africa and she’s taken on Uber: Zanele Mbuyisa speaks to Athandiwe Saba about advocating for the underrepresented, getting ‘old’ and transformation in the law fraternity

More top stories

ANC confirms it will oppose Magashule’s court application

The ruling party has briefed senior counsel Wim Trengove to head the team that will contest Magashule’s bid to fight his suspension and oust Ramaphosa instead

Magashule defies suspension order and KZN leaders’ advice that he...

A strategy by the KwaZulu-Natal ANC to control the narrative coming out of former president Zuma’s court appearance for arms deal corruption and fraud was thwarted

Landmark Deadly Air case: 10 000 deaths annually can be...

There is no legal mechanism in place to implement and enforce measures to prevent toxic air pollution in the Highveld

No masks. No Covid. But problems do abound

With no cases of Covid-19, a Zimbabwe informal settlement’s residents are more concerned about making ends meet – and their imminent eviction

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…