Johannesburg - A Cope faction in Limpopo has vowed to retain Mosiuoa Lekota as the party’s president during its national congress in a fortnight “because he was never given the opportunity to lead”.
This was revealed by Thetjeng Motlatjo following the party’s two-day provincial congress, which ended in Polokwane on Sunday.
Motlatjo, who has supported Lekota through his lengthy leadership court battle with Mbhazima Shilowa, was adamant they would ensure that Lekota was elected unopposed.
Cope is expected to hold its first national congress since its formation in 2008 from January 9 to 12.
Motlatjo said all of Cope’s five regional conferences that were held at the Capricorn FET College in Limpopo on Friday agreed to endorse Lekota.
He said Lekota’s nomination was also approved by the provincial congress, which was held at the same venue the past two days.
While The Star understands that another faction was threatening to challenge the out- come of the congress in court, Motlatjo claimed that their regional and provincial congresses proceeded without any hindrances.
“The conference resolved to have comrade Mosiuoa Lekota elected as the president of Cope during the forthcoming elective congress taking place from January 9-12 at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg.
“He was never given the opportunity to lead this organisation without interference from those aspiring to be leaders by hook or by crook.
“The province is determined to have this implemented and will lobby men and women from various provinces at the congress to have this realised.
“We are convinced that many other provinces share the same view and vision,” Motlatjo said.
The Star has, however, seen documents showing that another Cope faction in Limpopo was planning legal action against the regional congresses and the provincial congress held at the weekend.
The faction complained that some of the legitimate members were barred from attending these congresses.
Included in their complaint was that “no official notice of such congresses has been issued in terms of the constitution article 8.1”, which states that one of the responsibilities of the congress provincial committee is to issue a notice convening the provincial congress.
Senior Cope leaders aligned to Lekota have also been accused of meddling in the affairs of Cope in Limpopo.
The aggrieved faction has yet to file papers in the Pretoria High Court.
Motlatjo also said Limpopo supported Cope’s participation in the recently formed Collective for Democracy, which comprises the Freedom Front Plus, the African Christian Democratic Party, the United Christian Democratic Party and the IFP.
Patrick Sikhutshi was elected Cope’s provincial leader, while Mabore Mohlapamaswi was elected provincial secretary. Cope also announced a list of its five regional leaders.
All these elected were expected to hold office for two-and-a-half years.
Motlatjo said Cope in Limpopo had vowed to focus on fighting corruption on all fronts.
Other issues that the party would focus on included constitutional democracy; job creation; reduction of unemployment and poverty; decreasing the country’s debt; fighting inflation; protection of the most vulnerable in society; and better education and training.