Cracks in Cope over demotion

CRACKS have started to appear among the leadership of the Congress of the People in Limpopo, just weeks after the national elections.

Solly Mkhatshwa has been demoted from his position as Cope's provincial chairman to become an ordinary member of the provincial executive committee. Former Limpopo premier Sello Moloto was appointed new provincial chairperson.

The changes were made during a meeting of the provincial interim leadership group, equivalent to the ANC's provincial executive committee.

Mkhatshwa was among the first ANC members to go public about his association with Cope. This was after his relationship with the Tzaneen municipality, where he was a senior manager, soured and he was ousted.

He became the party's provincial convener after he had lost his bid as ANC secretary to Joe Maswanganyi during the ANC provincial conference at the University of Venda last July.

Monday's meeting, which was led by Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota, suggested that Moloto "was more matured, skilled and in tune with the needs of the people" in comparison to Mkhatshwa.

A reliable source, who refused to be identified, told Sowetan that the decision was fuelled by a number of "bloomer mistakes" made by Mkhatshwa during the listing process.

The source said cracks started to emerge after the names of hardworking Molebatsi Masedi and Tommy Ntsewa were brushed aside during the listing process.

Contacted for comment, Cope provincial spokesperson Mabilu Mokwalakwala directed all enquiries to Moloto, who confirmed the new developments.

Moloto said Cope had decided that its interim structures be reviewed and beefed up in order to live up to the expectations of the party and the people it serves.