New party forms from COPE split


BARELY five years after ANC members broke away from the ruling party to form the Congress of the People, COPE itself now has a splinter group.

The Daily Dispatch learnt of advanced plans to register COPE breakaway United Congress (Unico) with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

One Unico member is reportedly Mluleki George, who was a member of the ANC and then later COPE.

COPE at Mgqesho with king Maxhobayakhawuleza Sandile

Former Amathole regional executive member Mziyanda Noqhayi said the new party was formed because COPE had failed the people of South Africa while fighting over positions. “Very soon we will be pronouncing about the organisation,” he said.

Already 13 branches have been registered in Mbhashe, but there was no formal structure yet. Noqhayi declined to reveal other members nationally, but said members from both the ANC and COPE were interested in joining.

Contacted yesterday, George said his involvement in the new party would be announced in due course.

A COPE MP, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the existence of Unico. “The mission of COPE, which was destroyed by [Terror Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa], can never be abandoned, and if you look at the new parties that have emerged, they have not answered the question that COPE was to deal with,” he said.

“Agang is just collection of educated people while the EFF is just an angry organisation, it talks about things that will never exist. The government has serious challenges, it can never take the mines. The DA is not an answer. The ruling party has drifted away.”

COPE is currently embroiled in a bitter court battle to determine its legitimate leaders between Lekota and Shilowa.

A COPE youth leader said there was fear among some party members that the fight between Lekota and Shilowa could lead to the party not contesting elections next year.

“There is the fear that whoever loses might interdict the winner from registering the party for next year’s elections,” said the leader.

Both COPE Eastern Cape chairman Sam Kwelita and secretary Archie Ralo distanced themselves from the new party.

“We shall eventually contest the elections under one banner. We shall not do anything that will obstruct our organisation from going to the polls next year.

“There’s only one COPE and we shall do all we can to unite and normalise the party,” said Ralo. —


  1. Forming a new party after one another will nerver be the solution in SA politics. The existing opposition parties should unite to form a stronger opposition. to me that can be the solution and services will be enjoyed by the poor voters.

  2. @Simphiwe

    If only it were so simple. The reason for such fracturing is that every party, even new ones, is rooted to some extent in history. The DA is simply the conglomerate of parties that were in opposition to the NP all those years, marred to those Nats who have accepted majority rule and reconciliation. The FF+ represents those who are less reconciled but otherwise accept the system. Other parties – IFP, UDM, UCDP and a few smaller parties in local councils – came out of the homeland system. The MF came out of the Tricameral system. The PAC and AZAPO we all know about. There is a certain continuity or indissolublility of elites that underlies the mergers, splits and new parties entering.

    So yes, there has to be the will to form a united opposition while recognising that merging into a monolithic party structure is less practical, as even if such a structure were to eventuate its divergent elements will break down – as the SAP/UP, NP and now the ANC have all demonstrated. In India it took 30 years to dislodge Congress and while the Janata Party collapsed because of its divergent make-up, the impact of 3 years in government was permanent.

  3. I should have said *married. Much of the remaining NP base stayed with the DA while Van Schalkwyk turned the NNP into an ANC toady.

  4. Freedom of association is guaranteed in our constitution. It is also a fact that our country needs change from the de facto and non-delivering one party state environment that we are in. For that to happen there should be enough South Africans who feel strongly enough about the need for change and who DECIDE TO DO SOMETHING about it. Having said that the cooperation of opposition parties based on a programme that puts South Africa first is key. There are obvious priorities that the majority of South Africans share, and this is obvious when you look at the Manifestos of the different parties in the country. Based experience, and the common desire TO DO SOMETHING about saving our country from its downward spiral, there have been regular meetings, since November 2011, of opposition parties-mainly those in Parliament. Discussions on possible coalitions or cooperation before, during and after the elections are on-going. South Africans should get something on this matter soon. Let the constitution rein and let South Africans also exercise their right and responsibility to vote!

  5. Divided they fall. Yet again I think they fell sometime back.. Join the AWB they are a bunch of nutters but at least they know what they believe and they don`t change direction .

  6. I am very worried with the new formations of these Parties because they end up resolving nothing but making people of this Country Step Ladders to join their Coleagues in Parliament and after they have got few seats (1 or 2 seats) they forget about their followers hence they will be earning huge monies. While people on the ground are suffering with No running water, No sanitation, No clinics, No electricity, No tarred roads, No houses, No schools and No hospitals, they are just gambling.
    Although we are being governed by a democratic government in South Africa but it’s supposed to have a limited number of parties because this formation of 1million Parties is almost misleading people of this country.

    Kind regards

  7. COPE was also formed by angry and disappointed people. They should not labelled EFF as angry group. They are too. My advice is that PLEASE ACCEPT DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES. All the splinter groupings are not accepting democratic decisions or decisions taken by majority hence they are going no where. Those organization including the newly formed ones are like Ships without a campus. NO CAMPUS , DEFINITELY NO DIRECTION.

  8. I’m very worried about this country. Everybody who is crossed by the party formed its own party and we don’t see them succed

  9. Good luck to the new party, although it seems to be living in cloud-cuckooland to describe itself as “united”. I guess if we go on splitting ad infinitum, we inevitably end up only with…ourselves.

  10. @Lyndall Fanisa Shope-Mafole

    I really hope so. The problem is how do you integrate the disparate elements of the opposition into a structure that can speak with one voice when required and erode ANC support sufficiently to take power? Each of these parties appeals, let’s face it, to a particular social sector as I mentioned above. The opposition has at times showed unity (such as opposing the Secrecy Bill) which provides some foundation. But will such wildly divergent elements want to work together for long? Or is the revulsion at ANC misrule a sufficient unifier? None of these parties would want to work with EFF, that’s for sure.

  11. Are we truly FREE or do our political leaders through our local political membership given global political tenders to administer in behalf of neo colonizers?

  12. People have seen a loop hole in that if I can form a political Party I’ll be paving a way of being the President of that Party in Parliament and benefiting on behalf of the Masses who casted their votes with the hope of service delivery which is totally an opposit of that.

    When people get voted and won seats in Parliament it’s where they keep quiet hence they have reached their destination and forget about the poor voters, when they want to get votes again you see them going to the people again and so far that’s gambling. This is long been hapening in South Africa where everyone is forming a Political Party that is not helping the poor.

    Kind regards


  14. what is it that MR George will do different with his new political party? that has not been done by other opposition party? because all they do is to criticise ANC or the former political parties they were part of. He saw that COPE is currently embroiled in a bitter court battles and other internal constrains, but did nothing as a loyal and passionate member of COPE to help the party resolve that. but followed in the footsteps of his former President, formed a opposition party with no proper dirrection or vission for the country for people. furthermore, we should not forget the fact that he was the Deputy minister in the Defence department, which is tormented with irregularities investigation (ARMS DEAL). so for me he is just desparate to get in the National Assembly and get perliamentary royalties and survive unemployement…further forget masses who placed him there.

  15. Freddie Bellingan writes of Cope borrowing money and not giving back! Patricia de Lille and her party did the same. To-day I am on a blacklist because of her party of whom she was the financial boss. I had to borrow 80 thousand Rand from Standard bank in 2006, forced by her for the local elections. I was one of the MP,s It was to be 100 thousand but the bank could not give me that much. They gave back 50 thousand Rand and denied that it was 80 thousand although I have the proof from the bank because the loan from the bank was paid straight into the party,s account. The 30 thousand Rand balance from the I.D. party was never paid to the bank hence I sit with the bad record because I refuse to pay that money which was used by the party. When I resigned from the party in 2009 they saw a way out not to pay the 30 thousand Rand balance. THIS IS THE WONDERFUL MAYOR OF CAPE TOWN who did it to me. Becareful of the people who shine so much on public platforms. I was not the only one to whom it happened in that dissapearing party. That is why it is dissapearing. GOD DOES NOT SLEEP BUT HE IS JUST AND RIGHTEOUS.

  16. This joke is not funny anymore. The country is burning while 2 egomaniacs fight it out. Lekota you have a nationa following whereas Shilowa has a Guateng following. Break away now Terror before it really is too late to make any impression.