Deirdre Carter has been elected the deputy general-secretary of Cope.
"I'm still in shock, I'm an ordinary South African, a mother of two, and honestly, until now I have never been involved in politics," she said.
Speaking to Sowetan yesterday, Carter, 40, said she did not see this coming. She said she had travelled from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal to attend Cope's convention on November 2.
"I had decided that enough was enough and things needed to change in this country.
"When I walked out of that convention, I knew I had found my home. So I started getting in contact with other Cope members in KwaZulu-Natal," she said.
"I'm in this because, in 20 years' time, I don't want my children to ask me why I sat and did nothing."
Carter, who has worked in the hospitality industry and management consultancy, said she believed wholeheartedly that Cope would change people's lives for the better.