Andile Lungisa won’t quit – he still has an Ace to play
Defying an ANC call to resign, the Bay councillor insists smashing a jug in somebody’s face ‘isn’t corruption’
Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa is not stepping down yet – he says he first needs to clarify if his smashing a glass jug against a DA councillor’s head really qualifies as “corruption”.
Lungisa held a lengthy press conference on Tuesday to respond to the mother body’s instruction for him to step down. He dug in his heels, insisting to first seek guidance from his colleagues ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and his deputy, Jesse Duarte.
“The organisation took a decision to publicly disassociate itself publicly with anyone who is involved in corruption,” Lungisa told reporters.
“I’ll be writing to the provincial secretary to say I’ve received this letter from the media and I will need to be clarified...”
Lungisa is under pressure from the ANC’s regional task team to step down as councillor and branch task team member of Ward 2.
The call for him to resign stems from his 2018 assault conviction when he smashed a glass jug against the head of DA councillor Rano Kayser.
He is appealing his sentence, which was an effective two years’ imprisonment, although he was not granted leave to appeal his conviction.
Lungisa – who has been at loggerheads with the Bay’s regional and provincial bosses – said he was being purged because he waged a war against corruption.
People are confusing two things ... my case does not relate to corruption.
Lungisa has denied receiving the letter from the ANC, saying he heard about it for the first time when contacted for comment by the media on Sunday.
“The ANC must be an organisation with integrity. Even the statement released by the national executive committee is talking about rooting out corruption. We’ll take the line of march from the statement of President Cyril Ramaphosa,” he said.
“People are confusing two things. The resolutions are very clear on what to do. My case does not relate to corruption. I don’t steal.
“Mine is a matter that is in council and I don’t sleep at night, and I pray the supreme court will sympathise with my case because I never went to council to beat up anyone.”
Following a three-day NEC meeting, which started on Friday, Ramaphosa announced that the party had resolved that all of its members – including leaders at national, provincial and local government level – who have been charged with serious criminal and corruption charges, must step aside.
Lungisa said there was confusion around his case because he was not involved in any corruption and did not steal.
“I’m requesting guidance from national leadership in relation to my case because mine is not about corruption.
“The audience which I will seek with national and provincial is simply to say the leadership released a statement, supported my cause since 2017.
“Now that we’re fighting corruption and regional leaders are implicated in corruption relating to the procurement of PPE, there’s a sudden change of heart,” he said.
There is an agenda in which the ANC must collapse totally in favour of the DA.
Lungisa implicated senior officials in the city in high-level corruption.
He added that ANC regional task team coordinator Luyolo Nqakula – who in a letter said Lungisa had to resign from the council – was collapsing the ANC in an attempt to hand the metro to the DA.
“There is an agenda in which the ANC must collapse totally in favour of the DA. It’s difficult even for the speaker to appeal. The main agenda is the ANC must collapse and the DA to dictate and run this city.
“We want to be clear, it’ll never happen. We’ll never allow the DA to run this metro. Those who are gunning for our membership can go ahead but we’ll never allow the DA to preside over the affairs of this city,” he said.
But Nqakula maintained the issued directives had not changed and expected Lungisa to comply.
“They will be executed without fear or favour. No amount of theatrics will deter the ANC from the implementation of its decisions,” he said.