Nelson Mandela Bay ANC councillor Andile Lungisa has formally reported to authorities at the North End Prison in Port Elizabeth to start his two-year prison sentence.
Lungisa was convicted for assaulting Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Rano Kayser with a glass jug during a council meeting in 2016. His appeal for a lesser sentence at the Supreme Court of Appeal failed recently.
Flanked by supporters
Lungisa was flanked by several ANC supporters when he arrived at North End on Thursday, including ANC National Youth Task Team (NYTT) convener Tandi Mahambehlala and former ANC Youth League NEC member Abner Mosase.
Mahambehala hit out at the ANC’s “old guard,” accusing them of orchestrating Lungisa’s tribulations. “This persecution that you see today, that Andile is a subject of [sic] by the old guard, we are saying your time will come.”
Addressing the small gathering, Lungisa maintained that he was defending himself during the council incident and had “tried to run away.” He said he interacts well with Kayser and “spends time with his family.”
Lungisa also claimed there was “collaboration” between the magistrate, prosecutor and journalists to find him guilty. “Just because a judge is black doesn’t mean he’s transformed,” he said.
The councillor’s supporters sang ANC struggle songs and chanted “down with sellouts” as officials led him into the prison.
NPA to oppose bail extension application
Lungisa has filed an application for leave to appeal his sentence at the Constitutional Court as well as an application to extend his R10,000 bail at the Makhanda high court pending the Constitutional Court appeal.
The bail hearing is set for Monday next week. In a statement earlier on Thursday, the National Prosecuting Authority indicated that it will oppose the application.
In his sentence appeal, Lungisa argues that the Supreme Court of Appeal failed to adequately consider his personal circumstances when it dismissed his appeal.
“In doing so, they have not, with respect, imposed a fair and justifiable sentence on me and have therefore fallen foul of [my] constitutional rights,” he says in court papers.
He claims that the courts have treated him differently because of his political standing, adding that he’s a first-time offender and has a wife and seven children.