Cope’s first ever elective conference is underway in Boksburg on the East Rand.
The party was formed in 2008, after former president Thabo Mbeki was unseated as ANC president.
Just hours before the conference got underway, the North and South Gauteng High Courts dismissed a last-minute bid by former COPE deputy leader Mbhazima Shilowa and members aligned to him, to stop the conference from going ahead.
Cope has been beset by divisive leadership battles, playing out in court.
The quest for power pitted Mosioua Lekota against Mbazima Shilowa – a rivalry that threatened to erode the party.
Lekota promised delegates the party would now focus on real political issues.
Elections are scheduled for Friday night.
Lekota is expected to be retained as party president, as no other candidate was nominated to stand against him
– By Montlenyane Diphoko