COPE suspends Mosiuoa Lekota

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The Congress of the People (COPE) has suspended its leader, Mosiuoa Lekota for his alleged involvement in dividing the party.

Earlier this month, members of the COPE Constituency Congress Committees in Gauteng called for Lekota, to step down.

This was resolved in a July meeting addressing challenges of growth, rebuilding and renewal in the party.

This was one of the 10 resolutions adopted by the party in its attempt to take “drastic actions” to rebuild itself.

COPE’s Ekurhuleni Secretary Mxolisi Ntobela said though the party still respects its leader, there is consensus that Lekota has not shown the strong leadership he did in the past, and in so doing has violated the Constitution of COPE.

Lekota is, furthermore, accused of meddling in the selection of the party’s councillors.

Ntombela explained that the leader has had conflicting interests when it comes to the selection of councillors.

“It is him who wrote the affidavit on the 19th to support the removal of Comrade Khalipa supporting comrade Thomas Mofokeng, by doing so we are saying that he cannot be conflicted as a leader of the party.”

‘Unfortunate situation’

Spokesperson for COPE Dennis Bloem said that this unfortunate situation could have been avoided if Lekota heeded the leadership’s advice on the matter.

“Mr Lekota could have avoided this situation if he was willing to listen to advise, his deputy president comrade Willie Madisha, the secretary for election comrade, Mzwandile Hleko, and myself spoke to President Lekota and advised him to say that he is no longer the energetic “Terror” Lekota. He must consider retiring because his health is also not on his side anymore but Comrade Lekota did not want to listen to this advice.”

Leadership battles are not new to COPE. In 2013, the party saw a conflict that sowed divisions in the organisation between Mbhazima Shilowa and Lekota.

VIDEO: Gauteng COPE calls for leader Mosiuoa Lekota to step down:

VIDEO: COPE President Mosiuoa Lekota responds to calls for him to step down: