ANC accepts ex-members
May 1 2014 2:56AM

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SITHANDIWE VELAPHI
 
Five former Cope MPs were formally welcomed back to the ANC at the ruling party’s provincial offices, Calata House, in King Williams Town yesterday. 
 
The former MPs – Smuts Ngonyama, Thozamile Botha, Nonkululeko Gcume, Phumelele Ntshiqela and Zola Mlenzana – were some of about 20 senior Cope members who defected to the ANC this week, accusing the leader Mosioua Lekota of being dictatororial.
 
The members, who left the ANC to join Cope in 2008, were welcomed by ANC provincial chairperson Phumulo Masualle and provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane.
 
In his letter of resignation from Cope, Ngonyama said: “Despite the efforts of many members (of Cope) in trying to keep to the initial course of political direction, the negative political environment persisted.
 
“This situation has regrettably become untenable and has therefore left me with no other option but to end my association with Cope.”
 
Masualle said the members were welcomed in the ANC after they realised it was the only organisation that they could trust. “We agree that by welcoming these members back to the ANC we want to correct the wrong that happened to them before. These are our members and they are not our enemies,” Masualle said. 
 
Cope national spokesperson Johann Abrie said they would not be deterred by the members’ defection.
 
“We remain resolute in our determination to prevent South Africa from becoming a one-party state. 
 
“MPs who became MPs for themselves, not to serve the people of South Africa and who are now looking to secure their political future, are absolutely entitled to take whatever decision they feel will help them achieve that end,” he said. 

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