Ncedana, Shilowa ‘cause of the problems in Cope’
RENEGADE Western Cape Cope members have declared that party deputy president Mbhazima Shilowa and provincial leader Mbulelo Ncedana are the cause of divisions.
This comes after the Cape Argus reported yesterday that a group was planning to topple the current provincial leadership by launching parallel structures and threatening to scupper all activities planned by the interim provincial leadership.
Party members have written to secretary-general Charlotte Lobe asking her to address a number of their grave concerns. The letter, leaked to Weekend Argus, is signed by Bernard Josephs, Nkululeko Badini and Liansky Bestenbier.
Just a year after its launch, the party finds itself in a crisis. This week Allan Boesak tendered his resignation, saying the party was “in disarray with many good people, hard workers, under suspension because they raised critical voices that the leadership in the Western Cape do not wish to be heard”.
Last week, Simon Grindrod resigned after he aired his views on factionalism in the party.
In the letter to Lobe, the members claim the interim leadership, under Ncedana, had run roughshod over the national body. They also said Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota was not given a chance to speak at mass gatherings, and Shilowa was perceived by many to be at the root of their problems through his perceived protection of an “unpopular and undemocratic individual”. This is understood to refer to Ncedana.
They also want a report into how the provincial election list process was manipulated.
They want Shilowa to clarify why he is protecting individuals and why he is not willing to address the dissatisfaction among branches.
The trio says Lekota is never asked by the interim provincial leadership to speak at Western Cape gatherings, creating an impression that “Comrade Shilowa is a factionlist supported by the unpopular Mbulelo Ncedana”.
In July, Cope spokesman Phillip Dexter attempted to deal with the issues in the province.
A number of remedies were sug- gested to make the party stronger, but to date the task team established to implement the recommendations has failed to do so.
Dexter said yesterday the letter would be dealt with by the working committee. He denied that there were different caucuses in the party and said no concrete evidence had been presented on how the list process had been manipulated.
“If we are given evidence, action will be taken,” Dexter said.
UNPOPULAR: Mbulelo Ncedana
ACCUSED: Mbhazima Shilowa