Shilowa not affected by suspension: Ngwema


THE suspension of Mbhazima Shilowa at a meeting on Saturday had no affect on the co-founder or the party because it was not officially sanctioned, Shilowa’s spokesman said today. “Yesterday’s gathering of people are supporters of Mosiuoa Lekota and that meeting was not an official meeting of the party,” Sipho Ngwema said.


“So their pronouncements have got nothing to do with Cope. Those people are the very same people who claimed to have suspended Mbhazima last year.” The Shilowa-aligned faction was expected to release a statement later on Sunday. Lekota’s spokesman Phillip Dexter said the Congress of the People held its national committee (CNC) in Kempton Park on Saturday and resolved to suspend Shilowa.


“[The CNC decided] To suspend from all activities of the party a number of members pending a disciplinary hearing for these individuals to take place within the next 14 working days,” he said in a statement. Among the charges were impersonating leadership, sabotage of its National Elective Congress (NEC), undermining the constitution of the party, and abusing positions of leadership.


Dexter said a small faction was “intent on destroying Cope”.


Other members suspended at the meeting included Mluleki George, Nikiwe Num, Zale Madonsela, Ebrahim Sawant, Archie Ralo, Malusi Booi, Sam Kwelitha, Mbulelo Ncedane, Moegamet Majiet, Sam Kwelitha, Lolo Mashiane, Nozipho Didiza Ndlela and Ngwema.


The ANC-breakaway party has been plagued by a power struggle between Lekota and Shilowa. Both men currently claim to be the legitimate party president.


According to the Lekota faction, Cope’s chaotic NEC was abandoned due to violence and disruptions.


The Shilowa camp however claims the conference held a legitimate election and that a new leadership was appointed. – Sapa

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