UPDATE | IEC confirms COPE still registered as political party

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The Electoral Commission confirms that the Congress of the People (COPE) is still registered under Section 15 (A) (1) of the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996.

In a statement on Wednesday the Commission states that the IEC can cancel a party’s registration under Section 17 of the Act if it is satisfied that “the party no longer functions or has no intention to participate in an election;  dissolves or intends to dissolve; or is not represented in the National Assembly, provincial legislature, or municipal council…”

Deregistration with CIPC

Earlier we reported that COPE deregistered with the Companies Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) under the Companies Act. This was contained in a letter from the lawyers of one of the party leaders, Willie Madisha, to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in a bid to understand its standing in the electoral body.

COPE was registered as a company in November in 2008. But although it has been de-registered, it still remains registered as a political party with the IEC.

COPE spokesperson Dennis Bloem says they have called an urgent Central National Committee (CNC) meeting to discuss the latest development.

He says this has serious implications for the party as they prepare for the 2024 national elections.

“I am shocked. This is news to me. I was never aware that COPE was registered as a company. I know that COPE is a political party. But now in other words, COPE as a company does not exist; that’s what these lawyers’ letters are saying. But we as a party I think we must arrange an urgent CNC meeting to address this because this has a serious implication for the Congress of the People.”