CAPE TOWN - Cope leader Mosioua Lekota says he's not concerned by the mass exodus of MPs from his party.
More than 20 out of the party’s 37 MPs left Cope this week, a week before the elections.
The defectors are citing Lekota's autocratic style of leadership as the reasons for their move.
Lekota, however, insists the party is stronger than ever.
"Factionalism was the cancer in the organisation, but the leadership was the biggest cancer because if you can’t because leadership for me has to be able to make the unpopular decisions for the party for as long as it fits the principles for which you were set up," said former Cope MP Tozamile Botha.
"Some of them as you know, face criminal charges for defrauding the party financially. They may speak like angels but the hard facts of life speak otherwise," Lekota said.
Lekota doesn’t believe it’s a blow to the party's chances on the May 7th elections and was willing to put a wager on it.
"The congress of the people will emerge out of this stronger… if someone can buy me a hat, I’ll eat it if we don’t get more than what we got in the last elections," he said.
Many of the defectors said they've joined the ANC.