Former Cope big shots in Limpopo join ANC during Ramaphosa's visit
Former members of the Congress of the People (Cope) in the Limpopo legislature, Patrick Sikhutshi and Tshilidzi Ravhuandzwo, were unveiled as new members of the ANC during the party's provincial manifesto launch in Thohoyandou at the weekend.
The two joined the ruling party together with more than 200 of their followers from Cope. President Cyril Ramaphosa immediately gave yellow ANC T-shirts to the group to wear in front of multitudes who descended at the event for the celebration of the party's 107th anniversary and its provincial manifesto launch.
Sikhutshi, who was also the party's provincial chairperson, said he had confidence in Ramaphosa and promised to bring more members to the ruling party before the May 8 general elections.
The event was attended by multitudes of ANC supporters, including several of the organisation's NEC, PEC and REC members. Speaking during the event, Sikhutshi told thousands of people that he was ready to work hard to ensure that the ANC emerged victorious in the coming elections.
“President Ramaphosa, your message brings hope and renewal to the people of South Africa. It is against this background that I and other people decided to leave our political parties to join the ANC as we believe it is the only organisation that is capable of changing the lives of ordinary people for the better,” said Sikhutshi.
He said there were still more than 100 members of Cope who had defected to the ANC in the Burgersfort area. “There are more than 100 former Cope members who also wanted to come and join the ANC here but could not make it due to lack of transport. However, they have assured me that they are going to join the ANC,” he said, adding that they wanted to ensure a landslide victory for the ANC.
Reacting to the move, ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane said it was a demonstration that the ANC was regaining its ground and would continue to recruit more members ahead of the elections.
“As the ANC, we will continue to do our utmost to bring back more members and ensure a decisive victory in the coming elections,” Lekganyane said.
Commenting about the loss of members, Cope provincial secretary Erick Mohlapamaswi said they wished the people who had left them to join other parties well. “The South African constitution allows any person to join any party of his or her choice. If indeed those people were our members then we wish them well. But we must also indicate that we, too, continue to welcome others in large numbers,” said Mohlapamaswi.