SA Elections: ANC Says More COPE Members Defect

Uppington,May 1, 2014-The African National Congress (ANC) in the Northern Cape says it has welcomed hundreds of Congress of the people (COPE) members in Upington, Northern Cape.

ANC Provincial Secretary, Zamane Saul,  says the COPE members who have joined the ANC have already started campaigning for the party. This comes a week after the party in the province had welcomed six senior COPE members into its fold.

The six include COPE Member of Parliament Kenneth Sinclair, members of provincial legislature Bella Mattys, Fezile Kies, Juanita Mabilo, Susan Berends and Councillor Lennard De Wee.

Saul says more have joined from COPE. “We welcomed about 300 of them and they are currently working with the regional leadership to do door-to-door there. And some of them they are volunteers. They joined the ANC campaigns and they are working with us.”
Earlier this week, close to 20 COPE Members of Parliament announced their departure from COPE to join the ANC

However, COPE Premier Candidate in the Northern Cape, Pakes Dikgetsi, is denying that the 300 are COPE members.

“Anybody can claim to be a member of COPE anywhere and those people that have joined the ANC could be anybody. So we do not have any record of anybody of COPE that has resigned to go and join the ANC, because there is no letter from anybody so those are fakes. It’s just any ANC playing some tricks and those tricks are failing they are not working.”

Earlier this week, close to 20 COPE Members of Parliament (MP’s), including party deputy president Smuts Ngonyama, announced their departure from COPE to join the ANC.

COPE president Mosiuoa Lekota accused the defectors of fraud, while they accused the COPE leadership for the collapse of  “the project” to create a viable political alternative.

Lekota said these members owe the party in excess of R4 million already granted against them by courts. He said the party would be conducting forensic audits to determine the exact amount of money owed to the party.