‘COPE is broke’ and other failures
Smaller parties lost in the wilderness among the other heavy hitters
The poor performance at the ballot box of most of the new and smaller parties has served as a “wake-up” call that politics is no walk in the park.
While some parties believe they did enough to mount a more serious challenge in the 2019 general elections, others have been brutally honest about being lost in the wilderness.
COPE’s Eastern Cape premier candidate Reverend Lievie Sharpley, 74, is bowing out of active politics after his party received a hard “klap” at the polls.
On Friday afternoon, the party that was set up as a breakaway from the ANC after the rise to power of Jacob Zuma, was not anywhere to be seen, nationally or provincially, garnering only 0.25% of the Eastern Cape vote.
In a brutally candid reflection, Sharpley said COPE was broke, attributing the dismal showing to the party’s finances.
He said the party couldn’t even afford to pay for the food of party agents during the election campaign.
Asked whether he was disappointed by his party’s poor performance, Sharpley said: “Disappointed? Yes. Expecting it? Also yes.
“One of the problems we faced was a lack of resources and fighting an election without resources is a total disaster. We couldn’t go to places we needed to go to.”
As for whether COPE president Mosiuoa Lekota’s dalliance with the conservative organisation AfriForum cost the party seats, Sharpley said: “His alliance with them would have been good for some sectors of the community, but not good for others and especially in our area here.”
There had been no discussion within COPE about this issue.
“There was nothing to discuss and it was never an issue in our campaign. I don’t think he knew and I think he innocently thought he was trying to unite South Africa.
“Maybe it was naive on his part, making sure that everybody was treated equally.
“It’s misleading to call it an alliance; it was support he gave them on a specific issue [land expropriation].”..