Cope is ready for the elections, says acting SG

Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers.

Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers.

Published Apr 2, 2024


The Congress of the People (Cope) will be represented by 63 of their members on their candidate list ahead of the May 29 elections.

This was evident when the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) released all political party candidate lists last week with the party leader Mosiuoa Lekota.

The party was established 2008 by disgruntled members of the ANC who supported former president Thabo Mbeki, who was defeated by his successor former president Jacob Zuma at the party’s 52nd national conference in Polokwane.

However, since then its support dwindled over the years with infighting for power.

Lekota has been hogging power since its inception after a fallout with his co-founder Mbhazima Shilowa who was expelled from the party after an internal hearing found him guilty of mismanaging parliamentary funds.

Ever since then party leaders have been leaving the party with the latest being Colleen Makhubele, who was also expelled from the party. Makhubele has since started The South African Rainbow Alliance (SARA).

Another prominent member of the party who was expelled is Willie Madisha who also had a fallout with Lekota.

Madisha’s ally, Dennis Bloem, is another one that left the party last year after an internal squabble.

Now the party has sent 63 names to the IEC despite its dwindling membership.

The party currently occupies two seats in Parliament that includes one taken by Lekota and the other by its chairperson Teboho Loate.

The party now says they are ready for the upcoming elections despite postponing their election manifesto that was supposed to be held in Hammanskraal last week.

Cope postponed the launch of its election manifesto, which was scheduled to be held in Hammanskraal in Tshwane on Saturday.

Preparing for the elections the party said it was prepared for the possibility of a coalition only after the elections.

Its acting secretary-general Erick Mohlapamaswi said the party was more than ready for the elections.

Speaking to The Star on Tuesday Mohlapamaswi said the party had come up with Saturday the 6th as its new election date.

He said their target for the elections was to quantitatively increase the seats in the National Assembly and get some seats in the provinces.

Asked why the party was sending only 63 members instead of 200, he said: “After going through the applicants, Cope fielded men and women of integrity such that women, youth, and people living with disabilities were considered,” he said.

He added that the party list was men and women interchangeably to put emphasis on gender parity.

“Cope is very realistic and knows very well that it has to gradually grow the seats in the National Assembly rather than having pipe dreams,” he said.

The Star