Jug-attack ruling, ANC klap deal double blow to Andile Lungisa

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Jug-attack ruling, ANC klap deal double blow to Andile Lungisa

First the party canned him, then he lost his appeal in the water-jug furore. Now he’s waving an ‘olive branch’

Michael Kimberley
Andile Lungisa wants to resolve his issues with the ANC.
I come in peace Andile Lungisa wants to resolve his issues with the ANC.
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Embattled Nelson Mandela Bay councillor and former ANC Youth League deputy Andile Lungisa is not having a good week – first he was handed a suspension letter from his party on Tuesday, then the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled against him on Wednesday.

Lungisa has requested a meeting with ANC Eastern Cape secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi to discuss his suspension from the party.

He was handed a suspension letter on Tuesday at the Port Elizabeth airport by ANC regional task team coordinator Luyolo Nqakula. In the letter, Ngcukayitobi told Lungisa he had until Thursday to resign as a councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay and that he had been suspended from the party.

In response, Lungisa sent a letter to Ngcukayitobi asking that they meet, reports HeraldLIVE.

“Instead of me resorting to clashing with my leadership, I prefer if we could meet to resolve these issues about the table and in terms of the ANC’s internal dispute resolution mechanisms,” he said.

“I also cannot accept that my ANC membership has been suspended ... I am extending the proverbial olive branch.”

His suspension and recall are related to his 2018 conviction for assaulting DA councillor Rano Kayser during a council brawl in 2016.

Lungisa was found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after he intentionally smashed a full glass water jug over Kayser’s head.

He had been waiting to hear the outcome of his attempt to appeal his sentence for assault – and that arrived on Wednesday, a day after he received his suspension letter.

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein dismissed his bid to overturn the two-year jail sentence. The court found no basis to interfere with the sentence imposed by the trial court as it found that the crime committed by Lungisa was serious and had devastating consequences.

The court found that he did not behave in a manner expected of a councillor, failed to take responsibility for his actions, and showed a total lack of remorse.

His conviction stands.

In his letter Ngcukayitobi says the provincial executive committee had made the decision to suspend and recall Lungisa after the ANC’s national executive committee met late in August.

“It was resolved that cadres of the ANC who are convicted of corruption or other serious crimes must resign from leadership positions and face disciplinary action in line with the ANC constitution,” he wrote.

However, Lungisa said he was an ordinary councillor and not in a leadership position. He said the only leadership position he held in the party was branch task team member of Port Elizabeth’s Ward 2.

“In this regard, kindly accept this as my official resignation from this position.”

He said his suspension had been done unfairly and for “no good reason”.

Last week, Lungisa – who has been at loggerheads with the Bay’s regional and provincial bosses – said he was being targeted.

“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.

He added: “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.”

Now his only course of action is the Constitutional Court, if it will hear his case.