Now Cope Split over Dandala Successor

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BYLINE: Xolani Mbanjwa Political Bureau

THE resignation of Cope parliamentary leader Mvume Dandala has sparked a fresh battle between the factions of party president Mosiuoa Lekota and his deputy, Mbhazima Shilowa, over who should fill the former cleric's seat.

Lekota supporters want him to take up the reins as parliamentary leader, while Shilowa's backers have yet to give up on their efforts to persuade Dandala to stay on.

Cope general secretary Charlotte Lobe confirmed yesterday that Dandala had last week submitted a letter spelling out his intention to resign as an MP and from Cope's national and working committees, while remaining a member of Cope.

However, the party yesterday was at odds as to when any decision would be taken on Dandala's move to quit.

Lobe said the congress working committee (CWC) would meet next Monday and this would be the first gathering of the party leadership.

But MP Phillip Dexter, who is aligned to the Lekota camp, was adamant that the party's congress national committee (CNC) - its highest decision-making body between conferences - would meet on Friday. Dandala's plan to resign would most probably be tabled there.

Lobe, who is allied to the Shilowa faction, said the party would decide this week whether to hold a CNC meeting on Friday. …