The Congress of People (Cope) was ready to fight at elections, the party’s deputy chairman Mbhazima Shilowa said on Saturday.

“Yes we will fight an election,” Shilowa told media at the launch of Cope’s logo and colours.

“As we speak our structures are in place to fight elections wherever they will be,” he said referring to upcoming by-election and the national election next year. He said the logo — a circle with a green cross through and comprising of the other colours of the national flag — was a collective work deriving from a number of suggestions submitted to the party.

It was expected that there would be objection to both it and the name congress which he party had chosen to incorporate into its name.

“When the African National Congress objects, we have no problem with it because this is part of the process [of the Independent Electoral Commission]. “The process envisages objections,” he said.

The word ‘congress’ did not belong to any particular party but to the nation and while the name Congress of the People described an event in 1955 in which the Freedom Charter was adopted, it also did not belong to any organisation, said Cope chairman Terror Lekota.

“Neither the Freedom Charter or the Congress of the People belongs to any particular organisation… they belong to South Africa as a whole.

“We will go to the elections as the Congress of the People.”

Mluleki George — the party’s national organiser and treasurer — said thousands of people had already joined the party and more were expected by its official launch on December 16.

He said about in two weeks, the membership in the Free State had reached 64,000 and about 60,000 in the Eastern Cape. “People are joining and they are joining across the board.”

The cost of the membership had yet to be determined. Shilowa said the party had not entered into any alliances with any other political parties however it had been continually approached and was open to such occurrences.

“There are no alliances as we speak between ourselves and any other political party.

“Yes there will be alliances, [but] we don’t have any at the moment,” he said.