Mathekga told The Citizen yesterday that COPE will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to win in the upcoming general election.
“COPE is dying a slow death and it will find it difficult to instil trust among people who voted for it in the 2009 general election.”
COPE’s first national congress since its formation in 2008 took in place in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, over the weekend.
Mosiuoa Lekota was re-elected party president. Former labour federation Cosatu president Willie Madisha was elected deputy president, Lyndall Shope-Mafole was elected general secretary while Deidre Carter deputy general secretary.
John Huang was elected party treasurer.
On Friday, former COPE deputy president Mbhazima Shilowa lost his urgent legal bid to stop the party’s national congress from going ahead.
Shilowa and Lekota have been embroiled in a leadership tussle since 2010.
Shilowa and his supporters contest a temporary interdict granted in September 2012 which prevented COPE from convening a national congress pending that the leadership application remained in place until all procedures had been concluded.
The matter will be heard on January 24.
Lekota and Shilowa could not be reached for comment.