Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Allegations of defections, bribery and double-dealing flew between the ANC and Cope in Cape Town.

The parties held press conferences one after another yesterday, with Cope first alleging that the ANC had launched a secret "operation come back home" to lure back former members with promises of "exorbitant salaries, jobs in the public service, and cars".

The ANC hit back later in the day, parading nine Cope members who they said had rejoined the ANC yesterday.

"Cope is falling apart," Health MEC Marius Fransman said.

But Cope's central national committee member Mampe Ramotsamai claimed that ANC provincial leaders had orchestrated a protest of 30 members at Cope's offices on Tuesday.

"We saw ANC provincial elections head Chris Nissen and ANC NEC member Tony Yengeni taking people to a garage and giving them food afterwards," claimed Ramotsamai.

Nissen denied being part of the protest. He, however, conceded that Hanif Loonat, who was part of the group that defected back to the ANC from Cope yesterday, had been handing out refreshments.

Cope also claimed that its members Ray van Rooyen and John Meyer had been offered a monthly salary by the ANC to leave Cope.

"The ANC approached Meyer and offered him R10000 a month plus a car to leave Cope, but he turned them down. Cope will take this up with the authorities because bribery is illegal," premier candidate Allan Boesak said.

Cope's Piketberg councillor Ray van Rooyen told Sowetan he had been offered a director post in government if he returned to the ANC.

Van Rooyen claimed that Cope's provincial treasurer Nizaam Ishmail was an ANC mole, adding that Ishmail had set up a meeting for him [Van Rooyen] to discuss the ANC's offer with ANC provincial elections head Nissen today.

"Ishmail said I can have whatever I want.

I will go to the meeting with Nissen just to play with him - I am not interested in going back to the ANC at all," Van Rooyen said.

Ishmail showed up at the ANC press conference hours later to announce that he had left Cope.