Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota suspended for dividing party
Lekota was suspended after an urgent meeting of the party’s congress national committee on Sunday.
Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
The Congress of the People (Cope) has suspended its president Mosiuoa Lekota.
Speaking at a media briefing on Monday in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, Cope’s deputy president, Willie Madisha, said Lekota was suspended for dividing the party.
This followed an urgent meeting of the party’s congress national committee (CNC) held on Sunday.
Lekota has recently come under fire from senior Cope members who have accused him of meddling in the selection of the party’s councillors and convening frequent meetings to form parallel party structures, among some other allegations.
“He promotes and supports actions against which Cope was formed. Those actions include corruption, removal of elected leaders and representatives such as councillors,” Madisha said.
‘Lack of energy and strength’
The Cope deputy president said Lekota was previously advised by the party’s national leadership on several occasions to step down due to his health and “lack of energy and strength” to lead the party.
He said Lekota agreed to step down on those several occasions, but to date, he had failed to do so.
“Given his health conditions, he is not able to perform what the party and all South Africans expect him to do, which is to attend to the work of Parliament,” Madisha said.
Madisha said Lekota was informed about his suspension through a letter written by the party’s acting general secretary.
“We instructed the general secretary to write a letter to him informing him about the resolutions that were adopted by the CNC. We have proof here that indeed the general secretary did do that.”
Lekota barred from party activities
He said Lekota would not be allowed to take part in the party’s activities until disciplinary proceedings against him were completed.
“Whether he refuses or accepts [the decision to suspend him], there is nothing that he can do. The organisation has concluded in that way and the highest decision-making body in between congresses is the CNC which has taken this particular decision,” Madisha said.
As Cope’s deputy president, Madisha said he would take over Lekota’s duties in line with the party’s constitution.
Cope is expected to elect new leadership at its national congress next year.
Lekota has already served two terms as the party’s president and does not qualify for a third term in office, according to Madisha.