One rule for Lungisa, another for Nombiba

ANC defends contradictory approach to two convicted officials

Andile Lungisa
Andile Lungisa
Image: Supplied/DispatchLIVE

While convicted fraudster councillor Bongo Nombiba has been suspended from party activities, the ANC in the Eastern Cape will wait for Andile Lungisa to be sentenced before deciding if he should be disciplined.

Both Nelson Mandela Bay ANC councillors were recently convicted – Nombiba for defrauding the municipality of its discretionary fund and Lungisa for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Nombiba, who will be sentenced by the Commercial Crimes Court today, was suspended from the ANC last month.

He is barred from participating in party activities while the ANC decides whether or not he should remain a councillor.

But ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi said it would wait for arguments in mitigation and sentencing before deciding what to do about Lungisa.

“In its own constitution, the ANC is explicit on how best to deal with these particular matters,” he said.

“If he is sentenced beyond a year then we’ll have to take appropriate action, but if his sentencing is within the confines of the ANC then we will see what to do. But know that we don’t take this lightly,” he said.

On March 29, Lungisa was found to have unlawfully and intentionally hit DA councillor Rano Kayser over the head with a glass water jug.

Kayser had to have stitches after suffering multiple lacerations.

Ngcukayitobi said the ANC had been taken aback that magistrate Morne Cannon found Lungisa guilty even though he maintained he had acted in self-defence.
“We thought that the court would arrive at a different conclusion given that the report we got from him [Lungisa] stated he acted in self-defence,” he said.

On Nombiba, who was convicted earlier last month for fraud and money laundering, Ngcukayitobi said officials would inform the ANC’s Bay chief whip to curtail his activities as an ANC ward councillor.

“We’ve suspended Nombiba indefinitely until he is taken to the disciplinary processes which will probably be next week.”

Asked why the ANC was handling the two matters differently, Ngcukayitobi said since Lungisa had been found guilty, the provincial executive committee and its sub-structures had not met and thus could not take a decision on the conviction.

“You cannot compare the two. The issue of fraud and corruption is taken very seriously by the ANC,” he said.

“The outcome of the case [Lungisa’s assault conviction] relates to a quarrel within the confines of the council chambers.”

Asked if this meant Nombiba would be removed as a councillor and thus a by-election would have to be held in Ward 20, ANC regional treasurer Mbulelo Gidane said it had not reached that level.

Gidane said the ANC would form a disciplinary committee and a decision would be taken once the legalities were finalised.

“The whippery will report to the region and the region will take the matter to the PEC, who will then make a decision which will be informed by the sentencing.”

Gidane said that before making a final decision, the ANC would wait to see if Nombiba appealed against the court decision, and only after that process was finalised would a final decision be made.