WATCH | 'The terror on Lekota’s face': As fists fly between COPE members, tongues are wagging

COPE president Mosiuoa Lekota talks to journalists during a press conference on August 31.
COPE president Mosiuoa Lekota talks to journalists during a press conference on August 31.
Image: Alaister Russell

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.

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. 

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