Bid to end cope reign of terror

A FACTION of the Congress of the People, led by party deputy president Mbhazima Shilowa, is allegedly plotting a motion of no confidence in Mosiuoa Lekota as party president this Sunday.

Highly placed sources in Cope told Sowetan that general secretary Charlotte Lobe called a special congress national committee (CNC) meeting on Monday where she planned to call for a vote of no confidence in Lekota.

But the meeting had to be called off because it did not quorate. This after several CNC members, including Phillip Dexter, Hilda Ndude, and Smuts Ngonyama - and Lekota himself - allegedly heard about the plot and did not show up for the meeting.

The CNC will now take place on Sunday.

Lobe alleged that Lekota incited the party's Gauteng members to march to Cope's headquarters last week.

She denied that the meeting did not quorate, saying "the meeting formed a quorum, but (we) decided not to proceed as neither the president nor deputy president were present".

But Cope Youth Movement leader Anele Mda, who is aligned to Shilowa, lashed out at Lekota supporters for not attending the meeting.

"We are highly concerned about the recent conduct of Lekota, who has made it his mission to entrench his dictatorial views.

Lekota has consistently dispatched SMSes to influence members not to attend the meeting of the special CNC on Monday April 26 2010," Mda said.

"Cope Youth Movement also notes that ... Ndude, Ngonyama and Dexter, who have failed in executing their tasks, became champions of anarchy unleashed by Lekota to undermine the integrity of Lobe."

Mda accused Lekota of unleashing a "mafia and thug approach" every time he did not get his way.

The party's first elective congress will take place at the end of next month after a year of infighting between supporters of Lekota and Shilowa, who want their candidate to become president.

Provincial congresses were suspended by Lobe and most party members are in the dark about how delegates to the national elective congress will be chosen.

Shilowa's supporters now want him as president and Lekota as national chairperson - a new position in the organisation.

But Lekota's supporters say they don't want him to be pushed aside into a "toothless position".

Their new list, being widely circulated by SMS, sees them asking for Lekota as president, Dexter as first deputy, Cope MP Juli Killian as second deputy president, and Ngonyama as general secretary.