As an observer of events unfolding in this beautiful country on mine (yours and then ours) I always wished that I could do something. But as we have known since democracy the only way to “do something” is to stand up our leaders – some of whom are self-appointed and while others’ appointments have been questioned – and use whatever is at your disposal and do what you wish you could do. So let me use my writing skills here…
Oh, before I go any further, I see fit that I should make it quite clear that I am not a member of any political party and I give you my consent to verify that with whatever institution in the country that has the constitutional right and obligation to do so. With that out of my way, here it goes my story…
On my way from work and being an observer of events I like to call myself – I listened with interest to SABC’s SA Fm PM Live shown today. Besides reports that the Correctional Services department had reinstated Shabir Shaik’s parole – meaning he, as has been alleged in the media, can continue to beat the hell out of fellow worshipers, journos and while at it, continue to play golf as if he is not “in his last stages of his terminally illness” – I later heard Tshepiso Makwetla and Xolani Gwala, the show’s hosts at the time, making a news report concerning Congress of the People, your party that is.
In the said report – a clip of Dexter being played on air – it was made clear that the party’s Western Cape Province leaders Mluleki George and Nikiwe Num were facing disciplinary action. This, according to the report, was after the two were accused of declaring themselves as certain leaders in their own right. Of course I do not remember the exact words used but it was something like one said he’s the party’s president and the other is the president’s deputy, something like that.
However, in less than an hour later, Ngwema was heard denying the report by Dexter that George and Num would face any disciplinary actions. This was also confirmed by the radio station in one of its tweet comment. In its tweet comment the radio station said: “The COPE faction representing Mluleki George and Nikiwe Num has denied that the two members have appeared before a disciplinary committee”.
I then could not get past the thought of how members of the same political party – in the same day nogal – could have made such a bit mistake in (mis)informing the public. Worse, not only were the party’s members and victims of this report disappointed but I suspect that even those who were aspiring to be members of the party may have been disappointed at this PR Saga as well especially taking into account that both Dexter and Ngwema were speaking as spokespersons, whatever faction they may have represented at the time.
It is therefore this ‘miscommunication’ that continues to perpetuate the perception that Cope has lost leadership. By leadership one is not only referring who is on the party’s driving seat but that also someone who will provide guidance and assistance in helping the party attain its local government and general election Manifesto.
In the Manifesto the party claims that its “elected representatives” [Dexter and Ngwema included, I suspect] will advance its slogan as that of “a government OF the people, BY the people, FOR the People, WITH the people”. However, that some of these people do seem to have different takes on where the party is heading, I fail to see how this Manifesto goals will be achieved. I suspect this failure could be because these “elected politicians” think they are so powerful that if ignored and let alone their electors’ and voters’ “hopes will be betrayed”.
But whichever way this may go, I think both statements came a bad time when the party should be trying to win out votes for its coming general local government elections.
So with due respect and in moving forward, both Mosiuoa Lekota’s and Mbhazima Shilowa’s followers – the former being spin-doctored by Dexter and the latter’s by Ngwema – should try and work together especially at this state failing which if the almost failed Cope is kept driven to the directions it is now heading – a direction which is still confusing to both its members and the aspiring members – it should not then come as a surprise when the party hits The Mount Everest and not the Kilimanjaros the party has hit in the past.