Cope ‘caught off guard’ by Lekota’s media briefing with AfriForum

The party's secretary general Lyndall Shope-Malofe says the announcement on joining of forces with AfriForum is something they had not yet discussed.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota (right) and AfriForum’s Kallie Kriel at a press conference in Pretoria. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of the People (Cope) says it was caught off guard by its leader Mosiuoa Lekota’s media briefing announcing the joining of forces to fight the intended amendment of the Constitution to allow land expropriation without compensation.

The party's secretary general Lyndall Shope-Malofe says it's something the party had not yet discussed.

Lekota and AfriForum announced on Monday they had joined forces to request South Africans and the international community to pressure the African National Congress government not to amend the Constitution.

Shope-Malofe says Lekota has since apologised and the party stands with him.

“We do not agree with AfriForum on quite a number of issues. However, we think that it is important for all South Africans to work together on matters that they agree on which we believe will take our country forward. So, for us, this is just one step within that context.”

Lekota and AfriForum’s Kallie Kriel said at a press conference on Monday they will visit foreign embassies in the country to lobby them against the move.

In a statement, the parties said they want “the international community to apply pressure on the South African government and the ruling ANC to honour the South African Constitution, property rights and the 1994 settlement.”

The embassies to be visited are expected to be announced once appointments have been made.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)