COPE ACCUSES ANC OF HIJACKING WOMEN’S DAY EVENT: DAILY DISPATCH

THE province’s official opposition has accused the ANC of using a Bhisho legislature event for party electioneering.

COPE is now set to complain to speaker Fikile Xasa about how the provincial Women’s Day event in Sterkspruit last Friday was allegedly abused.

All political parties represented in the legislature were invited to the event, but COPE pulled out.

They claimed their members’ transport was “sabotaged”, ANC voter registration posters were placed around the venue and many were wearing ANC Women’s League uniforms.

It is also alleged the league were signing up members at the venue.

COPE MPL Nomfundo Jamjam yesterday said she would write to Xasa expressing her party’s dissatisfaction at how a legislature event was allegedly hijacked and turned into an ANC jamboree.

“Even simple information about transport arrangements for COPE was communicated on the last hour. We understand this to be a deliberate attempt to make sure that COPE does not succeed in mobilising its members to be part of the event.

“COPE rejects with the contempt it deserves the abuse of public money.

DA MPL Veliswa Mvenya said her party did not even bother to go, saying: “It was like other previous legislature events where the ANC used legislature money for party programmes, especially during this election period.”

Mvenya said during preparations, they were told transport would be made available for DA members, but their women found themselves stranded.

“We then decided to stay away,” said Mvenya.

She added that this had been going on for some time, and they had previously complained to Xasa but nothing changed.

The chairwoman of the legislature’s women’s caucus, ANC MPL Kholiswa Fihlani, defended her party saying the event was inclusive of all parties.

She said the ANCWL had organised their own blouse-wearing event outside the legislature programme and had used their own funds.

“We were not playing any other ball except for the legislature’s programme of gender transformation and fighting gender-based violence, which knows no colour or political affiliation,” Fihlani said.

“Yes it is true that there was an issue with transport arrangements and that was resolved very late, but there was nothing wrong with people wearing their ANCWL, church or any other party regalia, including COPE’s.”

Xasa could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print yesterday. —