Onkopotse (JJ) Tabane, writes in his public resignation from COPE, that the party has dishonest leaders who are power mongers, has failed to hold a democratic congress, has no vision, no campaigns, dis-organised administration, no policies and that its CNC meetings have degenerated into "brawls".
All this, he claims, has resulted in "civil society" filling in the vacuum COPE has left and furthermore, is evidence that claims of financial mismanagement, maladministration and even misappropriation, are just "smokescreens" or shots fired in a leadership contest.
As confused as this "analysis" is, there is some truth in it. COPE has battled to set up structures, define a vision and policies, ensure unity in the party, run campaigns and to hold an elective Congress. But the reasons for this are not, as Tabane puts it, because of some abstract leaders who are as dysfunctional as he describes, or because they deploy "an arsenal to besmirch one another".
The state of the party is directly attributable to selfish individuals such as Tabane, who say one thing and yet do another, all in their personal interest. While claiming to take some responsibility for the state of COPE, Tabane simply abandons all responsibility, passing the buck, as usual.
In truth, these problems in COPE are as a result of the factional fight waged by some members of the party. Tabane was a central figure in this narrow agenda to oust the current leadership of the party, in particular its President. In pursuit of this agenda, Tabane and his cronies were prepared to ride roughshod over every democratic principle, the party constitution and any sense of comradeship.
In this campaign, it has been Tabane's associates who have behaved badly, including disrupting CNC meetings, even stealing ballots and stopping democratic processes. Tabane was central to organising the failed St Georges coup, where he and his cronies attempted to fake a Congress to install their preferred candidate as president of the party.
That Tabane can attempt, as he leaves the party, to dismiss financial mismanagement of public funds no less, as being nothing more than an opportunistic manouevre by some leaders in the party, is testimony to the depths of his own lack of vision, leadership and his lack of good ethics. Referring to attempts to ensure accountability as witch-hunts and lies, when he himself has failed to account for his own alleged misuse of funds, is rank opportunism.
Tabane contradicts himself when he says that civil society has taken over COPEs vision, policies and campaigns. If it had none, what are they taking over? All attempts to set up campaigns, further develop policies and to implement the vision COPE has have been stifled by the likes of Tabane. It is a shame to see such a promising potential leader as Tabane plumb the depths of hypocrisy in an attempt to cover up for his own indiscretions. COPE will be none the poorer for his departure, given his attitude.
As he quotes Luke 5 (36-38), in which he basically describes the outcome of the COPE he says as pre-ordained, he demonstrates that he does not practice the very qualities of leadership he demands COPE to demonstrate.
I refer him to the very same Bible, in which in the ‘Sermon on the Mount', Gospel of Luke: 40b-42, The New Testament, Jesus is reported to have said, "Remove the log in our eye before the splinter in your friends".
Phillip Dexter is COPE's Head of Communications. He writes in his personal capacity.
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