ANC in Eastern Cape ‘alarmed’ at treatment of Andile Lungisa

2013-10-08 13:05

The ANC in the Eastern Cape has condemned what it called the “abuse of authority” against its PEC member Andile Lungisa, who was arrested last week for fraud and money laundering.

ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said it was alarming to see Lungisa on Friday being paraded in leg irons like a hardened criminal despite having handed himself over to police.

“We were quite alarmed at what appeared as excessive show of force, if not complete abuse of authority, in parading in leg irons a person who presented himself to the authorities. Usually such action is reserved or meted out to the most hardened criminals, posing an imminent risk of escape,” Mabuyane said.

This comes after Lungisa had made startling claims last week that Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was behind his arrest.

He claimed Mbalula was waging a political war against him as part of an old vendetta because he had opposed Mbalula’s candidacy as ANC secretary-general at the governing party’s elective conference in Mangaung last year.

Mbalula, however, swiftly dismissed the claims and is now considering legal action against Lungisa for defamation.

The ANC in the province assured its support for Lungisa, the former chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency.

“We believe in his innocence until proven otherwise and, given that the matter is before court, we would implore all to support the process and that it gets expedited judiciously,” said Mabuyane.

Lungisa and three others, including his wife, Ursula Sali, were arrested after they had allegedly shared R2.5 million belonging to the department of arts and culture.

The four – Lungisa, Sali, Thabo Shogolo and Xolisile Guquza – appeared at the Johannesburg Commercial Crime Court on Friday.

They allegedly lied to the department and promised that they would have R Kelly perform at the Nelson Mandela Sports Day concert. That never happened.

Mabuyane said the PEC had relieved Lungisa of his duties as a member of the PEC upon his request.

Lungisa served as deputy president of the ANC Youth League under its former president, Julius Malema, and was recently elected to the East Cape PEC in June.

Lungisa could not immediately be reached for comment.

He is out on R10 000 bail and is due back in court on October 30.

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