Andile Lungisa opts to stay in jail despite being granted bail

Andile Lungisa. Image credit: Flickr/NYDA RSA

Nelson Mandela Bay ANC councillor Andile Lungisa has opted to stay in prison for a little while longer despite being granted bail earlier on Friday.

The Makhanda high court granted Lungisa R10,000 bail pending his application for leave to appeal his two-year sentence at the Constitutional Court.

Prison ‘programmes’

However, speaking to SABC News on Friday afternoon, Lungisa’s brother Ayongezwa Lungisa said the ANC councillor wanted to finish “programmes” he had started in prison.

“Andile has an interest in finishing the programmes he started inside prison. In 2018, he served 16 days and in those 16 days, he committed to do some of the programmes that were required [as] part of the judgement,” Ayongezwa said.

He emphasised that Lungisa was not admitting wrongdoing, but wanted to “demystify the myth that he wants to buy away all the problems he is facing.”

“It may appear that he is not a law-abiding citizen. That’s why he said he wants to remain inside so that he finishes those programmes. When he finishes [them], he would then come out and join his family and the people of South Africa,” Ayongezwa added.

Lungisa began serving his sentence at the North End prison in Port Elizabeth last week after his appeal against the sentence failed at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

He was convicted in 2018 for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after he smashed a glass jug on Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Rayno Kayser’s head in 2016.

It is unclear how long Lungisa would take to complete the “programmes.” In his Constitutional Court appeal, he argues that the SCA failed to take his personal circumstances into account when it dismissed his appeal against the sentence.

“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 argues in court papers.

He further 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.

Lungisa faces another hurdle after judges involved in his case, led by SCA Judge President Mandisa Maya, served him with a legal notice to retract claims he made before going to prison.

Addressing his supporters, Lungisa claimed there was collaboration between a magistrate, a certain individual and the prosecutor in his case. He also claimed SCA judges’ husbands had landed jobs in the Eastern Cape Premier’s office and their children had won contracts from the provincial government.

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