Defiant Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said those calling for him to step down as party president and a member of Parliament have breached several parts of the party’s constitution.
Lekota, who spoke to Weekend Argus on Wednesday, also accused the group calling for his removal of not being members of Cope.
This follows reports of a resolution taken by some constituency congress committees in Gauteng to have Lekota step down as president of the party and have his deputy, Willie Madisha, replace him.
“I don’t know these people. Our party has got a constitution and there are particular steps that have to be followed if anybody wants to do anything like that, but these people are not members of our party. I don’t know them,” Lekota said.
He said he had been out of action for a while due to poor health but declined to divulge any further details.
Lekota said the matter would be discussed by the party’s highest decision-making body, the congress national committee, a structure he chairs.
“I have not been informed that the congress national committee has been given this report and taken a decision of this nature,” he said.
Lekota and Madisha are the two Cope members who serve in Parliament.
The group calling for Lekota to step down is adamant he is unwell and suffers from poor memory.
Ekurhuleni secretary Mxolisi Ntobela accused Lekota of meddling in regional issues and being unfit to occupy his position.
“Our president (Lekota) must step down. The president is a custodian of our constitution but he has violated that constitution. That is why we are calling for him to step aside until the congress next year,” Ntobela said.
He said they were concerned that Lekota was struggling with his health.
“Age is also catching up with him. He can’t even remember what he said yesterday, that is our serious problem with him. He must just do the right thing and hand over the affairs of the party to the deputy president,” Ntobela said.
He said it was clear that Lekota was no longer coping with the work load in Parliament.
“We believe he is no longer fit to lead the party and in Parliament,” Ntobela said.
He added that Lekota’s allegations that they were not members of the party was misleading.
According to Ntobela, the party has about 100 000 members.