South Africa

‘We want proof’ – COPE on claims ANC leaders helped form it

The Congress of the People (COPE) has told political commentator Dr JJ Tabane to back up his claim that several ANC leaders played key roles in its formation.

During an episode of the podcast The Hustlers Corner, Tabane, who worked as COPE’s communications director, revealed that the likes of Trevor Manuel and former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, helped establish the party in the lead-up to the 2009 elections.

Oddly enough, Manuel appears to be the only one to come out guns blazing against the wild allegation, even going as far as threatening to pursue legal action against Tabane, who hosts the show Power to Truth on eNCA.

Manuel penned a letter to the controversial TV host, calling on him to retract his remarks and issue an apology – or face legal action.

“In the circumstances, I hereby call upon you to unreservedly withdraw the false, wrongful and unlawful statements you made of and concerning me during the aforesaid interview and ensure that your apology is prominently published in the print and electronic format media. I also require you to apologise for the harm your unlawful conduct has caused and continues to cause me,” the former finance minister said.

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TABANE ‘WAS NEVER AN ADVISOR TO COPE’

Like Manuel, COPE is not happy with Dr JJ Tabane’s remarks and says it takes them quite seriously. Speaking to the SABC, COPE spokesperson Dennis Bloem says they are shocked by Tabane’s utterances and has also denied claims that he was the party’s advisor.

“The person who makes these claims must come with proof. I know Trevor Manuel is not a coward, he would come up and tell the truth about what he has done. We want proof of these allegations so that we can be able to believe that there is a basis on which they are found. We take them in a serious light and they must be investigated. Because he was never an advisor to COPE, even former president Thabo Mbeki,”

COPE spokesperson Dennis Bloem

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