Cope 'hit by in-fighting for positions'

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

A few months before elections, Congress of the People leaders and ordinary members in the Western Cape seem to be at loggerheads over the fledgling party's official list for the provincial parliament.

Members say that Cope provincial leader Ebrahim Sawant told them not to set up branches but to focus on electioneering instead.

A Cope source who spoke on condition of anonymity said members were shocked to read that the party's provincial list "had been formulated with the approval of branches".

"We were told that branches should not be formed. What branches are they talking about now? Cope provincial leader Mbulelo Ncedana's lieutenant, Ebrahim Sawant, has been nominated for the position of treasurer. This group is trying to stifle the process of starting branches so as to secure their own positions on the list for parliament," said the source.

Sawant, a former ANC deputy secretary for Cape Town, could not be reached for comment.

But Cope's head of communications Philip Dexter told Sowetan: "We are not discouraging anyone from setting up branches. We need branches so that we can fight the elections."