Anna Majavu and SAPA

Anna Majavu and SAPA

North West social development MEC Nikiwe Manquo and the province's ANC spokesman and MP, Lorraine Mashiane, have added their names to the dissidents who have joined the newly-formed Congress of the People.

Manquo said she had also resigned as an MEC because she needed to reach out to a different group of people.

"I need to utilise those skills, those energies in also reaching out to what other people would term as enemies," Manquo said.

Also joining Cope yesterday was former apartheid MP Nick Koornhof, a National Party MP until 1994. He later joined the DA and was health MEC in Western Cape.

He left politics in 2004. Yesterday he hit out at the DA.

"If you do not have black majority support you cannot be a real opposition," he said.

Meanwhile, Cope has apologised to ANC president Jacob Zuma for the insulting remarks its leaders made about him.

Last Saturday steering committee member Willie Madisha said South Africa would become a laughing stock if Zuma as the country's president tells the world that "he rapes and then showers".

Cope youth leader Anele Mda said under Zuma rape would be legalised in South Africa. But yesterday the Cope steering committee apologised and withdrew both statements unconditionally.