Not much hope for Cope?

The Congress of the People (Cope) positioned itself as a political party for proper, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic governance.

The party announced its formation on 1 November 2008 and hosted an inaugural congress the following month, 16 December, a day South African’s celebrate Reconciliation Day.

Trouble began when a battle ensued between founding members Mosiua Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa.

Shilowa was expelled from the party after an internal disciplinary hearing found him guilty of mismanaging the party's parliamentary funds.

Weighing in on Cope's political run, Sithembile Mbete, a political analyst, says the party came onto the scene with a great deal of goodwill but failed to build structures around which a political party can develop and thrive.

The thing is that in South Africa the ANC has set a particular way for how we do politics through its branch structures.

Sithembile Mbete, Political Analyst

Lukhona Mnguni, a political analyst, says one of the biggest problems Cope faced from its inception was that the party's founding members attracted and collaborated a number of previously apolitical people.

That created a visioning problem for the organisation from the very onset in terms of who should lead and how should leadership look like.

Lukhona Mnguni, political analyst

Mnguni says what also strained Cope was the little time it had to boost its support before the 2009 general elections which happened shortly after the party's formation.

He adds that the party is 'moving towards its twilight' having lost a significant amount of supporters and members.

A number of them went back to their professional jobs. A number of them of course went back to the ANC.

Lukhona Mnguni, political analyst

For the full analysis on the lifespan of Cope listen to audio below:


This article first appeared on 702 : Not much hope for Cope?


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