As the breakaway Congress of the People, or COPE, celebrates its official launch, confused and frightened South Africans are asking party leadership to explain where the 'e' comes from in its acronym and wondering whether a party that can't identify which letters appear in its name can be trusted to run an entire country.
The newly formed Congress of the People named itself after the so-called Congress of the People in 1955, a Congress where People Congressed with other People.
However the acronym of the party's name as represented in its official logo is not COP but COPE.
This morning constitutional expert Abacus Nyamende explained that there were three possible reasons for the inclusion of the 'e' at the end of the acronym.
"Either they don't understand what an acronym is, or they are keeping an extra word starting with 'e' secret from the electorate, or they are severely mentally handicapped," he said.
"Given that they are all ANC members trying to convince the electorate that they are offering a completely new party with original policies, we might be looking at severe mental defects here.
"However one also can't rule out that because they are essentially ANC politicians, it might also be possible that they are extremely intelligent and sophisticated while believing that the electorate is severely mentally handicapped.
" He said it was also unlikely that COPE's leadership didn't know what an acronym was, as the entire liberation struggle had been based on a series of acronyms.
"You can't come out of a culture that gave us SASCO, COSATU, the UDF, SASQUATCH, POEPHOL, PUSTULE and all the other great movements, and not know how to construct an acronym.
" He said the likeliest scenario was that the party's name included a word beginning with 'e' that would only be revealed after the election so as not to scare of potential voters.
"You might find they're actually called 'Congress of the People's Enema' or something like that," said Nyamende.
He said it was nothing to be worried about, as the ANC had been giving the country an enema for over a decade and that "a change of personnel around the hose" might be what the country needed.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008