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All the latest journalism from the Rhodes TV3 class

Politics behind SASCO-COPE Tension

Posted by Paddy On March - 31 - 2009

The story idea came about after a fellow journalist interviewed Rhodes COPE representative, Loyiso Phantshwa, after the COPE launch on Rhodes campus. During the interview Phantshwa revealed that he was a member of SASCO. We thought this would be a great story considering SASCO has always been affiliated with the ANC and recently on the Butterworth campus, a violent riot broke out between SASCO and COPE because SASCO was called to reject any COPE members. Had COPE infiltrated SASCO Rhodes?  Would SASCO split?

We set up an interview with Rhodes SASCO president Xanti Njozela, for the following morning, however, we needed confirmation and we needed numbers of how many SASCO members were now aligned with COPE before the interview. I then conducted a telephonic interview with Phantshwa to get confirmation of his membership and how many other COPE affiliates were members of SASCO. He confirmed that he was a member though was not active, also confirming around fifty COPE members were part of SASCO.

We conducted the interview with Njozela the following morning. He could neither confirm nor deny the number of COPE members, but maintained there was no potential split. Most of what he said was contrary to Phantshwa’s statements. We knew we had to set up an interview with him to reveal the contradiction and represent the very powerful things he had said over the phone. Due to the time limit of 90secs we really had to focus the insert and stick to the infiltration of COPE in SASCO. So unfortunately we had to leave out of some very controversial accusations made by Phantshwa regarding ANC ideology within SASCO discourse as well as Njozela’s initial denial of bowing to ANC policyand then his eventual defence of SASCO’s support for the ANC.

SASCO denies bowing to ANC: Click for audio download    



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