Party was founded on anger

I WOULD be surprised if creative minds have not already started a movie on the birth of Cope.

I WOULD be surprised if creative minds have not already started a movie on the birth of Cope.

The fanfare, drama and headlines that occupied media space when divorce papers were served on the ANC are too much to forget. Academics, political commentators and editors all sang the same song: the South African landscape will never be the same. It was argued that Cope's formation would bring back sanity to our body politic.

The thrust of this mantra, fed to us by opinion makers, was that the birth of Cope was fundamental to the protection of the Constitution and rule of law, which by implication were under threat by the dominance of the ANC.

The striking feature of this development was that for the first time we were likely to see a real alternative to the ANC, because many people had always argued that real opposition would come from within the ANC.

So we have to ask the question: has our Constitution ever been under threat?

The answer to this question is varied, and will always be underpinned by the socio-economic situation of each individual. For the propertied class - who by all means would want to maintain and protect their social status - the dominance of one party will always spell a threat to democracy, especially if the policy orientation is redistributive in nature.

On the other hand, democracy and rule of law for the majority means the dislocation of the oppressive system, which had denied them their human dignity.

It means the eradication of poverty, disease, illiteracy, fear and want. It means access to opportunities, decent work and a chance to live in dignity.

The formation of Cope was never about these ideals, but mainly grounded in deep anger, frustration and failure to accept democracy at play.

Mpho Gabashane, Nelspruit