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VIDEO | Lungisa intended to toss water from jug, court told

It was DA councillors – initially one “with false teeth” and then others – who attacked him, ANC councillor Andile Lungisa said in court yesterday, recalling a highly publicised council fracas in 2016.

Lungisa admitted in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court hitting mayoral committee member Rano Kayser with a glass water jug, but said he was being attacked and assaulted.

with intent to do grievous bodily harm after an assault that left Kayser bleeding profusely from a large gash to the back of the head. He has pleaded not guilty. Yesterday, Lungisa admitted he had grabbed the jug but said he had done so with the intention of hurling water at his attackers.

He said he had wanted to toss the water in the face of Kayser, who was approaching him while “unbuttoning his buttons”.

“I was very afraid in the way they were handling me and approaching me,” Lungisa said.

“Rano was in a position to attack me.”

He said the man whom he had only identified as having false teeth – later identified as Johnny Arends – had grabbed him by his right shoulder and pulled his right hand behind his back while another DA councillor stood on his left.

“I took the jug [from the table of the secretariat in front of the speaker’s bench] because one [Arends] was holding me – there was another councillor on my side and Rano [Kayser] was approaching me,” Lungisa said.

He admitted hitting Kayser once with the glass jug and then running away.

“I was being attacked and assaulted,” he said.

The October 2016 council fracas erupted after council speaker Jonathan Lawack referred ANC councillor Xola Sabani to the ethics committee for possible disciplinary processes and asked him to leave but Sabani refused.

Kayser testified previously that he had been trying to protect Lawack from Lungisa as he advanced towards him when he was hit with the jug.

He denied being hostile towards Lungisa and said his intention was to ask him to return to his seat.

Lungisa told the court yesterday that he had merely wanted to approach Lawack to ask him to adjourn the council meeting so that he could call for calm between ANC council members.

“The reason why I approached the speaker was to request to take the [ANC] councillors aside to talk to them,” he said.