Andile Lungisa has until Thursday to report for start of jail sentence

Andile Lungisa
Andile Lungisa
Image: Supplied/DispatchLIVE

Nelson Mandela Bay ANC councillor Andile Lungisa has until Thursday to report to correctional services to begin serving his effective two-year jail term for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

His attorney, Alwyn Griebenow, confirmed that the justice department had served notice on him at about midday on Tuesday, giving Lungisa 48 hours to report to serve his sentence.

According to Eastern Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani, there was a “technicality” in how the first notice to notify Lungisa to start his sentence was delivered to Griebenow’s office.

“It has now been delivered properly. Therefore, 48 hours commences today and expires on Thursday September 17.”

Ngcakani failed to specify what the “technicality” was after being asked for more details.

Griebenow said as soon as his office filed the application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court, they intended to also apply to extend his bail.

“The papers have been drafted and will most likely be filed [with the Constitutional Court] first thing on Wednesday morning.”

Confusion reigned outside the high court in Makhanda over whether there would be an application to extend Lungisa’s bail pending the outcome of the appeal to the Constitutional Court.

However, Griebenow was adamant that there was no application to extend Lungisa’s bail due to be argued on Tuesday.

A group of former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leaders who are behind the “Justice for Lungisa” campaign caused the confusion with a statement on Monday, saying that the application would take place.

Lungisa and about a dozen supporters stood outside the high court in Makhanda on Tuesday morning.

Most seemed to expect a bail application would be heard there in the afternoon.

One of his supporters, former ANCYL leader Anber Mosaase, said it would “most certainly” be argued that day.

But senior state advocate Nickie Turner confirmed that the office of the director of public prosecutions had received no notice of any application to extend his bail.

She said she had also confirmed on Tuesday with the high court registrar’s office that nothing was set down to be argued.

Lungisa said they were in Makhanda simply to file their papers.

He said the papers had to be filed with the high court in Makhanda and the Constitutional Court at the same time.

He said his senior counsel, Terry Price, would arrange a date with the high court to argue his bail extension in due course.

Price said later: “There will be no application today.

“We will first file our application for leave to appeal to the ConCourt, after which we will argue for bail to be extended.”

Explaining the process further, Price said he had drafted the papers to be filed at the Constitutional Court and handed them to Griebenow, who would get Lungisa to sign them.

“From there, they will be sent to Nettletons Attorneys in Grahamstown [Makhanda] to be filed on prosecutor Nickie Turner.

“They will then be sent to [lawyer] Ulrich Roux in Johannesburg to be filed at the Constitutional Court.”

Price said he hoped the papers would be filed on Wednesday.

He said the bail extension application could not be heard before the papers were filed at the Constitutional Court.

The courts have been unanimous in upholding Lungisa’s two-year effective prison sentence for smashing a glass water jug on the head of DA councillor Rano Kayser during a heated Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting in October 2016.

Kayser was seriously injured.

The high court in Makhanda dismissed Lungisa’s appeal against both his conviction and sentence.

And last week, five Supreme Court of Appeal judges unanimously found that the two-year sentence fitted the crime.

Mosaase said the “Justice for Lungisa” group also intended engaging with the province over his suspension from the party.

“It is human to err.

“Lungisa already stepped down as a member of the mayoral committee as a sign of remorse and we aim to persuade them that he must not be victimised further.”

Lungisa opted to resign as a mayoral committee member, resulting in charges against him being dropped by the party.

He appeared before a disciplinary hearing in King William’s Town in August and agreed to obey earlier party instructions that he step aside as the political boss of infrastructure and engineering. — Additional reporting Michael Kimberley 

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