Former Nelson Mandela Bay ANC councillor Andile Lungisa, just out of prison after being granted parole, says ANC leaders must take “responsibility” and “tell” President Cyril Ramaphosa that the “attacks” on former President Jacob Zuma must stop…now.
He also had choice words for his former party leaders, accusing them of not being committed to the economic transformation of South Africa, and that changing the ANC leadership was “necessary.”
Lungisa, who describes himself on his Twitter handle as a ‘Leader of Men. Measured, fortitude and a keen grasp of historical waves. Last of a dying breed,’ also blasted the Zondo commission, saying money was being wasted on the state capture inquiry when people were unemployed.
Clad in an ANC Women’s League sweater, Lungisa was addressing the media hours after his release from prison Tuesday where he had served just over two months of a two-year sentence for assaulting a fellow councilor with a glass jug in 2016.
‘Responsibility of comrades’
He said unlike Zuma, former Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela were not “taken to court” or “harassed.”
“What we are witnessing every day is the attack against [former] President Zuma. It is the responsibility of comrades to say to the sitting President, comrade Cyril, [that] the attacks against Zuma must stop now.”
Flanked by supporters and allies, including axed North West premier and ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo, Lungisa said they would be campaigning for a “change in the party leadership,” which, he said was necessary.
Lungisa said the current ANC leadership was not committed to the economic transformation of South Africa, which has remained a “British satellite” years after the ANC took power.
Addressing a special ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting on Monday, ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane hit out at party members and leaders who are “organising themselves as a splinter formation,” urging unity and renewal.
“In the process of renewal, we will confront all negative tendencies, including those that are organising themselves as a splinter formation within the organisation and those that vulgarise our conference resolutions on the second and more radical phase of socio-economic transformation for their own narrow selfish interests.”
Lungisa also claimed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the judiciary have never been independent since 1994.
“The NPA is not independent. It was not independent when it was [under] President Mandela, President Mbeki [and] President Zuma. It is not independent now under President Cyril Ramaphosa. It is not going to start now.”
Lungisa further claimed that it’s “impossible” for a president not to know “what is happening” within law enforcement agencies because he appoints the minister of justice who briefs him “on a daily basis.”
“If you [Ramaphosa] don’t know, then just write a letter and resign.”
Corruption-accused ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule, an ally of both Lungisa and Zuma, has similarly made claims that state organs are being used to fight ANC’s factional battles.
In October, Lungisa was forced to retract claims of political interference in his assault case after the judges involved threatened legal action.