The breakaway party was formed in response to ANC moves to oust Thabo Mbeki as president last September and back ANC leader Jacob Zuma’s candidacy. Following a court judgment earlier this month, Mr Zuma is facing corruption charges.
Following a court judgment earlier this month, Mr Zuma is facing corruption charges.
Launching its manifesto before a crowd of more than 40,000 in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, Mosiuoa Lekota, Cope president and former ANC defence minister, stressed the party’s commitment to defend the constitution and uphold the rule of law.
“Threats to violate [the] right [of equality before the law] are visible on the horizon of our national life,” said Mr Lekota.
Cope also defended the independence of the central bank and announced plans to promote small and medium-sized businesses.
Philip Dexter, communications chief, said the party believed it could win more than a quarter of votes at elections due to take place in the next few months. Steven Friedman, a Johannesburg-based analyst, however, said the party would do well to win 10 per cent.