Mangope gets frozen out
In a bid to contain deepening division within the party, the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) leadership has sought to silence its expelled leader Lucas Mangope and bar him from addressing rallies in the name of the party.
The UCDP recently lost an appeal against Mangope’s reinstatement to the party in the North West High Court. The development momentarily gave Mangope and his supporters the edge over the newly elected leadership led by Sipho Mfundisi.
Buoyed by the court decision, Mangope addressed his supporters outside the party headquarters on October 6 where he called for unity and focus. He was set to address another meeting on Friday.
However, the current leadership has approached the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein to appeal against the North West High Court ruling. This means Mangope remains expelled and cannot address people in the name of the party.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Mahikeng, deputy president Tediye Moerane said papers had also been served on Mangope’s lawyers to stop him from “associating with the UCDP”.
“Mangope remains expelled from the party and he is not allowed to address, convene or even represent the party at any level. If he addresses any gathering in the name of the party, he would be in contempt of court and would be liable to sanction,” Moerane said.
He added that the leadership was warning party members associating themselves with Mangope when they knew he was fighting the party. “We know there is a group calling itself ‘Supporters of Kgosi Mangope’. They should refrain from saying they are UCDP members and should not call meetings in the name of the party.
“All registered members have to abide by the constitution of the party as they would face consequences if found on the wrong side of the party position.”
Mangope, who led the former Bophuthatswana homeland to “independence” until his reign ended with the dismantlement of bantustans in the early 1990s, will be turning 90 in November.