WATCH | 'The terror on Lekota’s face': As fists fly between COPE members, tongues are wagging
Suspended COPE president Mosiuoa Lekota's reaction to a brawl between party members topped social media's trending list, with many weighing in on the fight.
A scuffle broke out at a COPE media briefing on Wednesday as party members threw fists and chairs at each other.
Disgruntled members arrived at the briefing in Boksburg, demanding that Lekota not speak after his suspension on Monday.
The men, clad in COPE T-shirts, entered the briefing and made their demands known.
Lekota responded, saying: 'I don't want this boy to come here and provoke me.”
The man threw a punch at a party member who pulled him away from Lekota before running out the door. Another COPE member can be seen throwing a chair at the fleeing man.
Mmmmm there is commotion at Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg.— MDN NEWS (@MDNnewss) August 31, 2022
COPE members are beating up each other. Fists are flying live on TV. It's a media presser.
Mosiuoa Lekota is suspended but he is refusing to accept the decision. Members say they do not recognize him as their people pic.twitter.com/cT2sgPw6RS
Speaking to the media after the brawl, Gauteng COPE acting general secretary Mxolisi Ntombela said: “We are here to say [these] factionalists that have been called here are not the real members of COPE.
“These are the mafias. [They] are the people destroying COPE. It's the [suspended] president that is going around and making parallel structures. We are saying to him he has got no right to come here and address COPE.”
Ntombela said Lekota must adhere to COPE's code of conduct and not address members of the party.
Speaking on eNCA, COPE deputy president Willie Madisha apologised to supporters for the fist fight.
“One must apologise to the members of COPE and the people of SA, because it was not supposed to be like that. We are talking about a party that has been formed to represent South Africans up to the level of parliament and for leaders to be seen doing what they did is extremely sad and wrong.”
Online, many weighed on the fight and “terror” on Lekota's face.
"Why can't smaller parties unite and fight off the ANC together" - Well... this is one of the reasons, they are so busy fighting internally that their interests aren't what is best for South Africa but rather what positions they can get and the lekker fat cat salaries. #Cope pic.twitter.com/TlymhQhLas— Ngamla Gouws 🇿🇦 (@RenaldoGouws) August 31, 2022
Whether it's COPE, PAC, or any of the other parties, we've stood witness to the hideous deterioration of our political culture.— Irfaan. (@CheMangera) August 31, 2022
The desire to maintain and fight for power at all costs will be to our collective downfall. What must change? pic.twitter.com/pXuz7P6haF
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