PRESIDENT of Defenders of the People (DOP), Rufus Mphahlele, has been suspended, while some party members were demoted.
This was revealed during a media briefing at Menlo Park in Tshwane on Sunday, 19 March.
According to DOP national task team spokesman Tukela Zumani, the party suspended Mphahlele after its first national legotla at the Savumash Lodge in Hammanskraal, Tshwane, on Saturday, 18 March.
He said Mphahlele was informed about the meeting but didn't come, which led to his suspension.
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"Mphahlele is now an ordinary member of the party. We have noted all the inconsistencies of his leadership. He is suspended, dismissed and we appointed members of the party in the absence of the highest decision-making body," he said.
He said they have been consistently engaging with Mphahlele over the past two years on the kind of leadership they expected.
"Our efforts have fallen on deaf ears. We cannot be subjected to such leadership. We are a party with potential. We are hopeful, confident and inspired by the new leadership, ready to go back on the ground and put all our differences behind us," he said.
Zumani said that the national executive that existed before their legotla has been disbanded.
The legotla elected Sipho Mokone in Tshwane as national convener, Monyamane in Joburg as national coordinator, and Zumani from Nelson Mandela Bay as national spokesman.
Additional task team members include Gadifele Mathabatha, Lesibana Malebana, Hector Nobele, Nofundo Manzana, Jakes Maleka, Sthembiso Khamalo, Nicolas Dubo, Siphiwe Khoza, Benjamin Khoza, Sammy Mashele, Hilton Whitebooi, Brenda Kubeka, Kagiso Mogotlhane, as well as Raymond Mashabela.
DOP national coordinator, Samuel Monyamane, said it was time for the party to build for 2024.
"We had a leadership which was bully, bossy, arrogant and insulting. Mphahlele never respected anyone. He has been saying this is his party. I stood against that saying the party belongs to the people. He started fighting me," he said.
"People on the ground said we need to unite as DOP. I will continue to save the party. Mphahlele is a dictator."
However, Mphahlele said he is still the president.
"We had a party conference on Sunday, 19 March in Lebowakgomo in Limpopo to elect new leadership. Those who gathered somewhere were expelled from the party. That’s all I can say,” said Mphahlele.