Ex-Cope leader forms new party in rejection of Zuma regime
A businesswoman and party hopper now hopes to contest the upcoming local government elections with her own political movement.
Lynda Odendaal‚ formerly second deputy president of Cope‚ had joined the ANC in 2010 after quitting Cope the year before amid leadership ructions.
She said in a statement that “the chronic decline in this country’s fortunes during the Zuma presidential era” had prompted her to start a new party – called Building a Cohesive Society (BACS).
“Today‚ ordinary South Africans are increasingly angered by the dearth of honest‚ committed‚ selfless leaders who are driven to lead this nation with integrity‚” she said in a statement.
“It is time to initiate the call to all those disenchanted South Africans to join us and upend the realities of life under current leaders who do not put the country first.
“BACS will be looking to build social cohesion and find ways we can contribute to job creation…”
Odendaal believes current parties have lost their ability to take South Africa forward on two fronts: not advancing on the goal of building a truly non-racial society based on dignity and respect for all its people‚ and failing to address rampant corruption within government.
The victims‚ she said‚ are the “millions of ordinary South Africans who will continue go uneducated and hungry” if the situation is not arrested.
Odendaal‚ who grew up in Uitenhage before moving to Gauteng‚ began a political career in her mid-40s. She left her position as chief executive of Network Support Services‚ an information and communication technology company‚ when she joined Cope. She also owned recruitment‚ development and human resources companies.
After being disillusioned at Cope‚ she told her home town’s Weekend Post newspaper: “Politics is a mine-field and a highly complex social science.
Firstly‚ you must know what principles and values you stand for before you can stand for‚ or against an issue. Opposition parties cannot be formed out of emotion or on the premise of protecting one’s power base.
Any new political formation must be founded on principles and values that will bring about new perspectives on how to best address the challenges facing our democracy and ordinary South Africans.”
- The new party will need to firm up its goals if it hopes to win votes‚ however. The statement by Odendaal says BACS will “contest a number of key seats in the forthcoming municipal elections‚ and thereafter‚ the national elections in 2017”. The ANC’s elective conference is in 2017‚ not the national elections. These are scheduled for two years later – in 2019.