Faction wants Lekota in Parliament

SUPPORTERS of Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota have vowed to make sure that he becomes the party's leader in Parliament.

SUPPORTERS of Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota have vowed to make sure that he becomes the party's leader in Parliament.

They want him to replace Mvume Dandala, who has resigned from the position. Dandala could not stomach the raging leadership battle between Lekota and his deputy Mbhazima Shilowa.

The supporters also want Shilowa to be removed as the party's chief whip in Parliament.

On Friday, Shilowa's supporters boycotted the party's congress national committee (CNC) meeting, where a decision was taken that Lekota should replace Dandala and that Shilowa should be removed as the chief whip.

Cope spokesperson Phillip Dexter said yesterday: "We will implement the decisions taken by the CNC. Some members chose not to come to the meeting, and the organisation cannot stop functioning because of that."

Dexter said Lekota, as head of the party, had asked the party's general secretary Charlotte Lobe to convene the meeting, but she did not respond. He also said the Shilowa faction was notified several times about the CNC meetings and they chose to ignore the invitation.

But the Shilowa faction said the CNC meeting was illegitimate and had no effect. Party spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said only Lobe was empowered by Cope's constitution to convene a meeting.

"Decisions taken by that meeting have no effect since it was an illegitimate meeting," said Ngwema.

It is believed that the Shilowa faction wants Lobe to replace Dandala as the party's leader inParliament.

Meanwhile, the eThekwini region has called for Lobe's suspension for "undermining Lekota's authority on several occasions".

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