South Africa's opposition Congress of
the People (COPE) is blaming the ruling African National Congress (ANC) for
introducing what COPE described as dictatorship into the country's political
dynamics ahead of this year's elections. COPE leader Mosioua Lekota said
ordinary South African should be given the right to chose who governs them and
should not be forced to accept a leader chosen for them. But the ruling ANC say
Lekota's criticisms are intended to score cheap political points ahead of
upcoming general elections. Aubrey Matshiqi is a political analyst. He tells
reporter Peter Clottey from Johannesburg some South Africans are questioning
is not saying anything he has not said before because right from the beginning
when he announced that he was leaving the ANC before the launch of the Congress
of the People (COPE), he indicated that one of the things that they wanted to
see is the change in the electoral system, Including the direct election of the
president of the country, executive mayors and provincial premiers. And
therefore this is what he means when he says power must be vested in the
people," Matshiqi pointed out.
said some South Africans remember when Lekota was once heavily against changes
in the electoral system, the same changes he is now advocating for.
was a time when Terror Lekota as you know was a senior leader of the ANC and a
senior member of government. And as leader of the ANC, he was part of a party
that was opposed to electoral systems reforms. The question for me is whether
voters would believe that he is genuine in calling for electoral systems reform
and whether they will believe him when he calls for change. Change based on
things that as a former leader of the ANC he was opposed to in the past," he
said Lekota should take responsibility for what he is now describing as a dictatorship
within the ruling ANC party.
the same way it may be true that the ANC maybe a dictatorship, but some will
tell you that to the extent that the ANC is a dictatorship, it is partly a
dictatorship because of the way he led the ANC when he was the chairman of the
ANC. And therefore, to large extent, I think Mosioua Lekota is playing politics
and I think the question is whether voters will take him seriously or not. Or
whether voters have short memory as to forget the role he played in the ANC's decline," Matshiqi noted.
the ANC Youth League is accusing South Africa's media of waging what it described as a
concerted effort to create a crisis around the personal and private life of
President Kgalema Motlanthe after local media reported on a marital affair of
said the youth wing of the ruling ANC is right expressing its displeasure with
the seeming obsession of the personal life of the president.
is an obsession with President Kgalema Motlanthe's private life and has taken
an inordinate amount of time has been spent to find out whether he is part of a
healthy marriage or not when the country is faced with much more challenges
that the media should be carrying, bearing in mind that in a few months time we
would be having an election," he said.
said there is reason to believe that all is not well in the ruling ANC party
ahead of the upcoming general election.
you look at the reported attacks on President Kgalema Motlanthe or unhappiness
about the role he has been playing since he became the head of state in
relation to following up on ANC decisions… several things seem to be happening
here and you must remember that what we call the Zuma coalition, the coalition
which was responsible for removing Mbeki (former South African president) was
united because of the antipathy towards Mbeki. Now, Mbeki is out of the way and
new competing or even conflictual interest is coming to the fore as a result of
which what we have come to know as the Zuma coalition seems to be fracturing,"
Matshiqi pointed out.
Lekota's remark comes four days after the launch of his
party (COPE) branch in Umhlanga. He said South Africans
"must not be told by some youngster that this is the leader we have chosen
for you and if you do not vote for him, then 'we will take up arms and kill
He lashed out at the ruling
ANC, accusing the party of misrepresenting the true meaning of democracy.
Lekota also advocated for changes in the electoral system, contending
that the country's constitution must be implemented as it was initially
conceived, adding that ordinary South African's should be granted the power to
choose their leader. He described as a lost of freedom of choice in South
Africa if the country fails to desist from allowing the people to choose who
they want as their leaders.