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Lyndall Shope-Mafole – a senior Cope leader and Gauteng MPL – has been accused of doing her party’s work while on authorised sick leave from the legislature.
Shope-Mafole was placed on sick leave in September last year.
In confirming the then wheelchair-bound Shope-Mafole’s medical condition, legislature Speaker Lindiwe Maseko told the legislature that she had visited Shope-Mafole at her home, and her condition was indeed serious.
However, insiders in Cope’s national and provincial leadership have told The Star that Shope-Mafole had used her sick leave to do office work for Cope in her capacity as the party’s acting general secretary.
The sources also told The Star that Shope-Mafole had tried to organise a failed Cope national office-bearers’ meeting under the leadership of Mosiuoa Lekota last week.
The sources said other senior leaders, such as Smuts Ngonyama and Thozamile Botha, boycotted the meeting because they felt it was not constitutional.
“She was granted the sick leave by the Speaker. We want her to investigate Lyndall Shope-Mafole’s sick leave. She stays away from the legislature but she is able to do her party’s work in her official capacity. She has been very active in Cope in the past two months,” one of the sources said.
The Star has seen an internal memo that Shope-Mafole wrote, dated October 14, 2013, to members of Cope’s national and provincial executive committees.
In the memo, Shope-Mafole invited the national committee members to an “extraordinary meeting of the Congress national committee (CNC) which would take place tomorrow and Sunday.
“The meeting will be held at Mannah Lodge in Kempton Park.”
She wrote: “The meeting will, as decided by the CNC of July 6, 2013, discuss the ruling (Mbhazima Shilowa vs Mosiuoa Lekota court battle) and its consequences.”
She was referring to a Johannesburg High Court ruling expected to be delivered on Friday.
The court was asked to determine who the real Cope president was – Shilowa or Lekota.
In concluding her memo to CNC members, Shope-Mafole wrote: “I remain sincerely yours, advancing the cause of the Congress of the People – the natural political home for reliable, accountable and incorruptible South Africans.”
The Star has also seen individual bookings she made for CNC members at Mannah Lodge.
Shope-Mafole did not respond to several messages on her phone.
Maseko said she would act only if she received a complaint from Cope.
“I can confirm that I received a letter from Cope’s administrator stating that Shope-Mafole will be returning to the legislature next week. They have requested the legislature to make necessary arrangements for her because she is still wheelchair-bound,” she said.