This is an open letter to Cope leader Shilowa

DEAR Mr Shilowa,

I'm a lowly, ordinary member of Cope from Thembisa. I apologise from the outset for engaging you through the media but I do not have another platform.

I felt compelled to write you this letter after reading about your slamming lies and divisions in the party.

Reading that article I recalled that when Lynda Odendaal resigned from the party, saying Cope was a political fraud, she intimated that you were plotting against Mosiuoa Lekota, for whom she had great respect, and that she would not be party to that.

I also recalled that in January the Youth Movement released a document in which they blamed the national leadership for the poor state of the party.

They asked the organisation to call for an elective conference to remedy the situation.

At the same time I read about insults from the Youth Movement directed at Lekota.

It is well and good for people to campaign for you but when they insult one of our leaders that's something else.

A regional conference was abandoned twice in Ekurhuleni because of the manipulation of accreditation of delegates by the people aligned to you, and there is a widely held view that the provincial conference that endorsed you as Gauteng's candidate was rigged in your favour.

Various leaders, regions and provinces have called for a postponement simply because we are not ready.

But your supporters insist that the conference must go ahead despite the problems besetting the party.

I have always held you in high regard and I still do, but at the moment I can't help thinking that perhaps there is truth to what Odendaal said about you.

Siyabonga Keka, Thembisa