Now Cope has a chance

I ADMIRE JJ Tabane's bravery and honesty. Like Saint Paul he has had a Damascus experience. One can only hope that this is a sign of the winds of glasnost blowing in Cope's ranks.

I ADMIRE JJ Tabane's bravery and honesty. Like Saint Paul he has had a Damascus experience. One can only hope that this is a sign of the winds of glasnost blowing in Cope's ranks.

The only sad thing about this is that it took Tabane a year to abandon the ostrich approach that has hitherto been so prevalent in Cope's ranks and has cost it dearly.

Cope was founded on shifting sand as the so-called divorce from the ANC was driven by anger and bitterness. It was not based on principles and a clear policy stance.

It is tragic that those who cautioned against the irrationality of Cope founders were dismissed as ANC apologists.

Now that even Cope's renowned spin doctor is admitting to this being a "project gone horribly wrong", an intelligent and sober public discourse will commence on what distinguishes a patriotic opposition from a destructive, loud-mouthed bunch or a lapdog.

Rest assured, a vibrant opposition is good for democracy. It presents viable alternatives while acknowledging the good the government is doing.

It also forges working relations with the government and civil society organs in implementing programmes that are for the common good. It also sharply raises its voice when things go wrong but does not oppose for the fun of it.

For Cope to become the type of opposition that contributes to taking our country forward it will have to disabuse itself of the notion that it is merely an opposition to the ANC. It must also develop policy positions that speak to the issues of the majority rather than pandering to the whims of the rich and privileged.

The leadership must have a clear vision and sense of purpose. Jostling for positions of power and self-enrichment should stop if Cope is to have any chance of success.

Cope must not fall for the sweet talk of submerging into the DA because this would spell the end. It desperately needs to nurture an independent, distinct persona to remain relevant .

Mogomotsi Mogodiri, Johannesburg

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