Cope factional fight: I am still a member of the party and a MP – Willie Madisha

Cope factional fight: I am still a member of the party and a MP - Willie Madisha
Cope factional fight: I am still a member of the party and a MP - Willie Madisha

Africa-Press – South-Africa. The battle for power in the Congress of the People (Cope) will likely be decided by the court.

A court case was instituted by Cope MP Willie Madisha against fellow party member, Mosiuoa Lekota.

A month after his alleged expulsion from Cope, Madisha on Monday insisted he remained a member of the party as well as being its deputy president.

A letter emerged in July, which was penned by Cope’s secretary-general, Eric Mohlapamaswi, in which it was said the party’s national committee had axed Madisha.

The letter stated that Madisha would lose his seat in Parliament.

The factional battles in Cope mean the party’s decision-making structures are not all that clear.

Lekota insists he is in charge of the party, while Madisha says he is not.

The party’s members, who have chosen sides, hold separate meetings.

Madisha, at a media briefing held in Kempton Park on Monday, said he was not expelled from the party.

He said he was finalising a court application to clean his image and to show that Lekota had hijacked the party’s structures.

Madisha’s court application will be premised on the fact that only an elective congress can remove him as a party leader.

Madisha said:

“I am sending a warning to the rented choir that your time is up, and we know of your corrupt activities, and the long arm of the law is closing. Repent and tell the truth, or we will do it for you,” he said.

Madisha said he had informed Parliament that he was still an MP, despite other Cope members attempting to remove him from the party and as an MP.

Lekota and Madisha were not on speaking terms, despite serving as MPs.

The two pass each other in the corridors of the national legislature, Madisha said.

Another accusation was that Lekota had taken over the party’s finances. He was the only one in charge of the party’s bank account and financial records.

The party has since failed to provide the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) with financial statements for the 2021/22 financial year.

The IEC had to withhold the party’s share of the representative political party funding and the multiparty democracy fund allocated to parties represented in the various legislative assemblies, News24 previously reported.

In a statement released before Madisha’s briefing, Cope’s Gauteng leader, Tom Mofokeng, who is aligned with Lekota, said Madisha remained expelled and had no right to speak for the party.

“These people are taking it upon themselves and doing their best in their incompetence to disrupt the image of Cope. The president of Cope has initiated the process to withdraw Madisha from representing Cope in Parliament,” Mofokeng said.

A national congress was due in July, but it was unclear whether it would be possible.

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