POLITICAL NEWS - Former ANC councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay Andile Lungisa has retracted allegations that his case was not fairly decided due to political and familial affiliations of the judges who presided over his case.
In a statement shared by the Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday, Lungisa admitted that his allegations were “false” and “without merit”.
It reads: “This retraction is made to the two judges who heard my appeal against conviction and sentence in Grahamstown High Court and the Judge President of that division (Eastern Cape division) as well as to the five Appeal Court judges who heard the appeal against my sentence in the Supreme Court of Appeal, Bloemfontein.
“I unequivocally retract the statement made to the media and my followers on the 17th of September 2020 immediately before my incarceration started at North End Correctional Facility in which I made certain unfounded comments regarding the above mentioned judges. I admit that my statement regarding the above-mentioned judges were false and without merit and thus wrongful.”
The president of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), President Mandisa Maya, the judges of the SCA concerned (Justices Nambitha Dambuza, Caroline Nichols, Shares Weiner and Nolwazi Mabanda-Boqwana), and the Judge President of the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court, Judge President Selby Mbenenge had demanded a retraction from Lungisa following his conviction.
The SCA earlier last month dismissed Lungisa’s appeal against his assault conviction and sentence.
In 2018, the former youth league leader was found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and sentenced to three years in prison, of which one year was suspended for a period of five years on condition that he was not convicted of similar crimes during the period of suspension.
Lungisa smashed a glass jug over the head of former mayoral committee member for transport Rano Kayser at a Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council chamber at a meeting held in 2016.
In its ruling The SCA said: “The appeal is dismissed. It was conceded on the appellant’s behalf that the offence he committed was “particularly serious and even egregious.”
The court highlighted the fact that the “weapon” used in assaulting the complainant was particularly dangerous.
However, Lungisa alleged that the judgment was politically motivated.
Speaking outside the North End Prison in Port Elizabeth, to begin serving his two-year sentence following a conviction on charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, Lungisa alleged that his matter was not fairly decided due to political and familial affiliations of the judges who presided over his case.
He has since been granted bail of R10,000, though he opted to remain in prison awaiting the outcome of his application for leave to appeal his sentence to the Constitutional Court.