News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday February 16th 2019

COPE throws song and dance over Imam’s membership

Yugendree Naidoo

While reports of ructions within the hierarchy of the Congress of the People (COPE) continue to surface in the media, the party today (subs: Wed) announced a new member in the form of Imam Zayed Samaai.

Samaai is not joining COPE’s leadership structure, however, but, according to COPE media laison Roscoe Palm, joined as an ordinary card-carrying member.

The fact that COPE called an urgent press conference in a Parliamentary committee room to announce Samaai’s membership could be viewed as a desperate move to shore up support and present a positive face to the media.

The song and dance over Samaai’s membership was also a move to garner support among the Western Cape’s large Muslim population.

COPE treasurer Hilda Ndude said the announcement of Samaai’s membership was an opportunity for the party to reach out to new communities and “conquer the Muslim vote”.

Ndude said Samaai’s membership was “great news” for the party in the midst of negative media reports about COPE.

“There are still people out there who are recognizing us as a party,” said Ndude.

Samaai said he decided to join COPE because of the high moral standard they held compared to other parties.

Samaai, who served the Labour Party in apartheid’s infamous Tri-cameral Parliament, said many of his political counterparts had moved to the ANC or the DA, but neither of them seemed “worthy of me”, he said.

“I forfeited the opportunity to jump on the gravy train because of my values and morals.”

He urged the Muslim community to support the party in future elections. – West Cape News


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