With Congress of the People (COPE) president Mosiuoa Lekota in Cape Town for three days of intensive electioneering, the ANC appears to be going all out to lure back former ANC members who have defected to COPE.
At an event in Samora Machel in Philippi yesterday (16/04/2009) the ANC paraded 15 former ANC members who they said had decided to rejoin the party from COPE.
The 15 were given ANC t-shirts in front of a crowd of about 200 people, who gave them a rousing welcome. The ANC has also announced that “hundreds” of COPE members will be returning to the ANC in Paarl.
But COPE has hit back, denying that the Philippi 15 were ever members of COPE.
The Philippi event was attended by ANC Western Cape chairperson Mcebisi Skwatsha, ANC Youth League deputy president Andile Lungisa and Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) member on the ANC’s national executive committee Fumanekile Booi.
Addressing the crowd, Skwatsha said: “You can go away for a long time but at some point you will think of home.”
One of the 15, Nomawethu Biko, who lives in Samora Machel, said: “I didn’t leave the ANC because I stopped liking it, but I was fooled into joining COPE. No one asked me to come back, I just did it out of my own free will and I feel very happy to be back at home were I belong.”
But COPE provincial chairperson Mbulelo Ncedana said: “Those people were not COPE members.”
He said the announcement was an electioneering tactic and accused the ANC of acting out of desperation.
Lekota arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday. After visiting Du Noon yesterday (subs: Thurs), he was scheduled to visit Gugulethu and Macassar, with further visits planned to Masiphumelele near Fish Hoek, Paarl and Manenberg on Friday. – West Cape News