I can't help you‚ Lekota tells woman demanding payment for Cope caps

29 May 2018 - 08:00 By Philani Nombembe
Mosiuoa Gerard Patrick Lekota.
Mosiuoa Gerard Patrick Lekota.
Image: Bruce Gorton

A businesswoman who supplied Cope with branded caps ahead of the 2016 local government elections might have to ask the ANC for payment.

The leader of the floundering party‚ Mosioua Lekota‚ said the caps were ordered from Nobantu Mbude by former leaders who had returned to the ANC‚ and Cope had no money to pay for them.

When Mbude supplied the headgear to Cope’s Robertson branch in the Western Cape she was promised payment after the elections but said she had been sent from pillar to post.

At her wit’s end she approached Lekota‚ who told TimesLIVE: “One of the serious difficulties is that these caps were ordered by people who have already left and gone back to the ANC.”

Mbude said she had been looking for business‚ and after sourcing promotional material for Cope she approached Lekota at a local shopping centre.

“People from Langeberg Municipality contacted me and ordered the caps. They said they would pay me after the elections‚” she said. But when voting was over‚ the branch told her it had won only one seat and was bankrupt.

TimesLIVE has seen a string of e-mails she sent to Cope officials‚ including the party’s bookkeeper‚ Dean Amey‚ in March.

“We cannot by law pay your invoice from our accounts as these are audited and submitted to parliament‚” Amey responded. “We however instructed [leaders of the Robertson branch] to take responsibility and settle your account.”

Mbude said she was struggling financially as she is a single parent with a daughter in university. “In one of the SMSes I sent to Lekota‚ I asked him to give me at least R10,000 for me to be able to do Christmas shopping. I was begging him because I am unemployed‚” said Mbude.

“They want to govern South Africa and yet they are suppressing the downtrodden. I want my money with interest.”

Lekota acknowledged that Mbude had raised the issue with him but said: “I can’t pay for this.” He said it was also clear to him that the Robertson branch had no money.

Another difficulty was that the caps bore the incorrect logo. “We have reregistered our logo because the original logo was done by someone who was trying to sabotage Cope‚” he said.

“Instead of the red colour being at the top of the logo on the caps‚ it is on the right-hand side and the blue colour is on the left-hand side‚ which is in conflict with the national flag.

“When she wanted to sell those caps to us‚ the logo had already been changed. I think those members in Robertson took them without realising that they were no longer relevant.”