The African National Congress’ (ANC) Andile Lungisa could find himself behind bars as soon as Thursday, 17 September 2020 – after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday he had 24-hours to hand himself in.
Lungisa, currently a Nelson Mandela Bay Councillor in the Eastern Cape, was convicted of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. This comes after he struck a fellow councillor from the Democratic Alliance (DA) Rano Kayser, with a glass jug of water on the head during a heated sitting back in 2016.
According to several reports, Lungisa had been served with the notice on Tuesday, 15 September 2020, giving him two days to report to correctional service and begin his sentence.
He was sentenced to three years behind bars – with one year being suspended, by the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown .
Lawyer: ConCourt papers to be filed on Wednesday
According to DispatchLive, Lungisa’s lawyers are set to extend his bail as soon as they file the application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
“The papers have been drafted and will most likely be filed [with the Constitutional Court] first thing on Wednesday morning,” his lawyer Alwyn Griebenow is quoted as saying.
Lungisa had subsequently taken the original ruling with the same court, however that was rejected. He then approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), who dismissed it on Wednesday, 9 September 2020.
The SCA said it had found no basis to interfere with the sentence imposed by the lower courts.
“…on the grounds that the court had appropriately balanced the appellant’s personal circumstances, the nature and seriousness of the crime committed and the interests of society,” the judgement read.
“It (the Eastern Cape High Court) observed that Mr Lungisa used a dangerous weapon when hitting the complainant on a sensitive part of his body, the temple, causing serious, potentially fatal injuries”
The case is likely to be another bone of contention with the ANC, as it served as a motivator for the ruling party to suspend him – however Lungisa has said he would not be going down without a fight, and refused to accept the decision.
Lungisa, a fierce supporter of former president Jacob Zuma, called for the party to investigate Cyril Ramaphosa’s controversial CR17 campaign funding. For many other Zuma allies, the decision to suspend him and by extension, the court case, could be seen as a move being made by the Ramaphosa faction in the party.