Former ANC parliamentary whip David Dalling has joined the Congress of the People, Cope leader Terror Lekota announced on Monday.

Dalling, 69, was one of the first sitting Members of Parliament to join the ANC after the organisation was unbanned in 1990.

He, along with Jannie Momberg, Jan van Eck, and Pierre Cronje, left the then Democratic Party to join the ANC long before the first democratic elections in 1994.

Daling, who has been out of active politics for some years, told a media briefing the ANC's stance on Zimbabwe and the Scorpions were among the reasons that led him to join Cope.

Also at the briefing, Lekota suggested that the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) which recently attacked his party over "reckless" statements on affirmative action, was racist.

Lekota said the BLA had never subscribed to the idea of non-racialism.

"The BLA has never embraced non-racialism," he said.

Cope was not surprised that the BLA had reacted with outrage at the party's suggestion that race should not be the only criteria determining a person's eligibility for employment.

"If you debate an issue with someone who started from a different dimension as yourself - you must expect that there would be no agreement," he said. - Sapa