Cope joins forces with traditional leaders, prior to their manifesto launch on Saturday.

In an unexpected move, the Congress of the People (Cope) has formed a collaboration with the traditional leaders group, Freedom in South Africa (Fisa), to advocate a new system of rule in South Africa.

Their joint call is for the country to be ruled by kingdoms, with royal houses governing above the traditional political system. The announcement came during a briefing in Houghton on Friday, where the leaders highlighted the reasons behind their decision to enter politics and align themselves with Cope.

Political paradigm shift

Fisa leader, Monnye Nthai Malatji speaking on behalf of the traditional leaders expressed their deep-rooted feeling of being unseen and unheard, which has spurred them to take action and forge an alliance with Cope.

“In the whole of Transvaal, we are nowhere to be seen, this is because of the government, they destroy traditional leaders to make sure that they take control of land and minerals in the country and that is why we continue to suffer,” said Malatji.

The traditional leader said they tried to communicate with the government to get recognition but their efforts were in vain.

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They have managed to garner the support of more than 30 tribes, who are open to the idea of joining Cope, as it presents them with an opportunity and platform to finally be seen and heard.

Reflecting on the challenges faced by traditional leaders over the past 300 years, the leaders emphasized that despite South Africa’s progress since 1994, their people continued to suffer.

Oppressed and deprived of their land and basic services, Malatji said the traditional leaders feel that a paradigm shift in politics is necessary.

“After raising our issues professionally with the government without any positive response, we decided to join politics and battle for political power because that is the only language they understand,” he said.

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Political language

The traditional leader pointed to countries such as Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Canada, Belgium, and New Zealand, where kingdoms exist and thrive alongside the political system, as examples to follow.

The proposed system aims to protect the interests of all tribes, ensuring the preservation of land, minerals, arts, culture, traditional leadership, and communities.

Instead of having a president as the head of state, the leaders propose the introduction of a prime minister who would work under the united kingdoms to govern the country’s politics and economy.

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“This system would prioritize the protection of South Africa’s sovereignty, as well as the wellbeing of its people, their jobs, businesses, services, and the maintenance of law and order,” Malatji added.

Expressing gratitude to Cope for the opportunity to collaborate, the traditional leaders believe that this alliance will bring about positive change and serve the interests of their people.

Moreover, they invited smaller parties to join them in their collaboration with Cope.

“The kingdoms are the custodians of the land, we have the divine rights to lead the people,” said Malatji.

‘We are as ready as we can ever be’

Cope’s leader, Mosiuoa Lekota, affirmed the party’s readiness to launch their manifesto on Saturday, demonstrating their commitment to the forthcoming elections.

Lekota said every South African, regardless of their socioeconomic status or education level, deserves the right to vote.

He further emphasised the importance of inclusivity, stating that the “lowest members in society must participate in the running of affairs in the country”.

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Addressing the declining numbers within the party, Lekota dismissed those who left Cope as individuals who were not having their interests properly served.

He highlighted the need for a government that prioritises the people’s interests ahead of personal gain, condemning corruption and the misuse of public funds.

Moreover, Lekota shared his reason for leaving the African National Congress (ANC).


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