Axed Congress of the People (Cope) member and Joburg Council speaker Colleen Makhubele says she will not be going back to her former home.
With the country expected to hold general elections next year, Makhubele, who was fired for refusing to distance herself from the newly-launched South African Rainbow Alliance (Sara), hinted that the grass was greener on the side of Sara rather than Cope.
“There is nothing to go back there for,” she quipped.
Makhubele was officially unveiled as Sara’s official leader at a media briefing held at the Sandton Sun Hotel on Wednesday.
Speaking during the briefing, Joe Mojapelo said the country was in need of principled leaders.
“Gone are the days of sitting back and doing nothing. If we want to move our country towards the right trajectory, we all need to get involved and do something,” he said.
National Freedom Party secretary-general Canaan Mdletshe said all the parties within the alliance were satisfied with Makhubele as their leader.
“We are satisfied with our leader, and she was chosen on merit and not because she is a woman. We will not be able to change the status quo if we are going to go the traditional way.
“Our criteria and selection process was very stringent, and was merit-based and not gender-based.”
Makhubele, who addressed the media following her axing from Cope on Monday, said she felt betrayed when the termination of her membership of the party was announced in the media without her knowing about it.
“The past two days (have been) a shock. I have recovered from the shock. There was sadness, I have recovered from the sadness. There was a bit of tears, and I have recovered from the tears as well because of the betrayal and ... the disingenuous nature of how this operation was carried out in the media with no information from someone who knew what was happening,” she said.
According to a statement issued by Sara ahead of the briefing, Cope’s leadership knew about Sara as Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota was part of the deliberations that led to its establishment.
The alliance which seeks the support of smaller parties on an equal partnership is made up of parties such as the African Independent Congress (AIC), National Freedom Party (NFP), Independent Citizens Movement (ICM), and the African Amalgamated Restorative Movement (AARM) following Cope’s withdrawal.
Makhubele said that the new political bloc was thinking bigger than opposition politics and was vying to unseat the governing ANC.
“We need a radical overhaul of all our policies, government structures and inherent systems that continue to reproduce poverty, unemployment, inequality and the alarming youth unemployment in this nation,” she said.
While the alliance structure is expected to register as a political party for the 2024 elections, they are yet to announce their policy stance.