RUM­BLINGS IN COPE OVER LEKOTA S DEAL ’ ‘ ’

Sunday World - - World Of Politics - MOIPONE MALEFANE

SE­NIOR lead­ers of the Congress of the Peo­ple have ex­pressed con­cern that their pres­i­dent Mo­siuoa Ter­ror Lekota may have al­ready

“” en­tered into a deal to work with the Demo­cratic Al­liance against their wishes.

The lead­ers claim that the dis­cus­sions with the DA started in 2009 af­ter the gen­eral elec­tions and were be­ing pushed by a foun­da­tion based in Ger­many.

They said meet­ings had been held be­tween the lead­er­ship of the DA, Cope and the Ger­mans to dis­cuss how the two op­po­si­tion

par- ties can work to­gether.

Two Cope lead­ers who at­tended some of the meet­ings said the Ger­mans had com­plained that the DA had reached a ceil­ing and would never grow be­yond where it is to­day, while the Inkatha Free­dom Party had died a nat­u­ral death.

They claimed to have been fund­ing both par­ties as op­po­si­tion to the ANC.

They said the IFP in their view is dead, and could there­fore not as­sist them to­wards be­ing a strong party in the next govern­ment of SA.

They said Cope is a bet­ter project and promised to help us with cam­paign­ing funds,” a provin­cial leader claimed.

An­other leader told Sun­day World that they went to Ger­many be­hind Lekota s back where

’ an opinion was ex­pressed that he was not suit­able to lead Cope.

How­ever, it is un­der­stood Lekota got wind of the meet­ing. Yes­ter­day he told Sun­day World there were al­le­ga­tions made by cer­tain Cope lead­ers in Ger­many but he could not re­mem­ber ex­actly what they had said.

He ad­mit­ted that he had also met the Ger­mans, but that his meet­ing was about the state of democ­racy in South Africa.

It is all op­po­si­tion par­ties from dif­fer­ent African coun­tries. The IFP was also part of the meet­ings. In those meet­ings the Ger­mans “never told me to work with the DA,” Lekota said.

Sun­day World un­der­stands that the first leader of Cope to meet the Ger­mans was Mvume Dan­dala, who later phoned most provin­cial lead­ers re­quest­ing them to meet the Ger­mans.

An­other leader said he had met the Ger­man eco­nomic min­is­ter and some Ger­man busi­ness­men based in East­ern Cape.

In the meet­ing, she said the Ger­mans said they wished to see a strong op­po­si­tion to the ANC that would win the elec­tions and gov­ern South Africa.

They were will­ing to give money but now it seems as if this has be­come Ter­ror s project.”

Cope lead­ers in Par­lia­ment re­cently poured cold water over re­ports that their party would merge with the DA.

Mean­while, Lekota will re­turn to the High Court on De­cem­ber 6 in a con­tin­u­ing bat­tle for the soul of Cope. Lekota s op­po­nents, led by Mb­haz­ima Shilowa, will ar­gue against a tem­po­rary in­ter­dict that bars Shilowa from call­ing him­self the pres­i­dent of Cope.

Both the Lekota and Shilowa fac­tions say they are con­fi­dent of win­ning the bat­tle for the own­er­ship of the party.

SHAKY GROUND: Cope pres­i­dent Mo­siuoa Lekota. Pic­ture by Veli Nhlapo

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