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Cope accuses ANC of sabotage

The party says the ANC is behind another court application to stop it from holding its conference.

Cope delegates register on 9 January prior to the start of the party's national congress. Picture: Facebook.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says it has nothing to do with a new court bid to stop the Congress of the People (Cope)'s national congress from going ahead.

The congress is scheduled to start today.

Cope says its former deputy leader Mbhazima Shilowa has gone to court to stop the gathering, but Shilowa has denied this and says he's not involved in any such bid.

The party says it believes Shilowa's supporters are going to court because they're acting on the orders of the ruling party.

Cope's Johann Abrie says the party strongly believes the ANC is involved.

"There is most certainly a dark hand at work here."

But the ANC's Keith Khoza says this claim is not true.

"This has nothing to do with Cope or any other party. Cope is a party that is fast disappearing because it has no foundation."

Khoza says the party only exists for emotional reasons.

Cope's congress could lead to properly elected leadership after Shilowa lost a court challenge against the party's current leader Mosiuoa Lekota.

The party hopes the congress will lead to its rebirth after being punished by voters for infighting.