Andile Lungisa leaves prosecutor, magistrate frustrated during cross-examination

2018-03-20 20:55
Andile Lungisa leaving Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court (Derrick Spies, News24)

Andile Lungisa leaving Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court (Derrick Spies, News24)

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Port Elizabeth – ANC provincial heavyweight Andile Lungisa left the state prosecutor and magistrate frustrated with his often long, unrelated answers to questions put to him during cross-examination on Tuesday.

Lungisa is currently facing a charge of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court after allegedly smashing a water jug over the head of mayoral committee member, Rano Kayser, during a council meeting in October 2016. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Speaking through an interpreter, Lungisa repeatedly gave long explanations relating to the assault, often not dealing with the question put to him.

The case got off to a slow start on Tuesday morning as Lungisa was cross-examined by prosecutor Wayne Ludick, who pointed out there were a number of inconsistencies in Lungisa's testimony in chief.

Ludick asked why Lungisa had changed his testimony to say that he had approached the front of the council chamber to address council speaker Jonathan Lawack's assistant when his attorney had put it to the State's witnesses that he had gone to address Lawack directly.

Lungisa answered by going into detail about how he had been held by DA councillor Johnny Arends, and how Kayser had come towards him with the intention to hit him.

Ludick also referred Lungisa to a statement he made to the police shortly after the incident, wherein he also indicated that he had gone to the front to address Lawack along with fellow ANC councillor, Makhi Feni, and had in fact spoken to him.

WATCH: Andile Lungisa smashing a jug over Rano Kayser's head

Council rules entered into evidence

Ludick pointed out that Lungisa had told the court he was familiar with all the rules of council and did not know of any rules forbidding him to approach the speaker. He then presented Lungisa with a copy of the council's rules and procedures and drew his attention to paragraph 28, which dealt with councillor conduct during meetings.

Ludick asked Lungisa to read the rules, which included that councillors were not allowed to move around during meetings, were not allowed to converse when a matter was being discussed, as well as the rule that addressed procedure should the speaker rise from his seat to bring order to the house.

Ludick pointed out that ANC councillors were singing and moving in the passageways during the council meeting and that according to Lungisa's own testimony, the speaker had risen from his chair on a few occasions.

"I put it to you that you have absolutely no respect for the rules of council," said Ludick.

"I respect the rules," responded Lungisa.

Court adjourned shortly before the tea break to allow Lungisa's attorney, Luthando Ngakayi, to go to the doctor as he was not feeling well.

The case resumed shortly after lunch, with Lungisa back in the hot seat.

'How is that an answer to what he just asked?'

Ludick pointed out that while Lungisa had testified that his intention had been to throw the water in the jug at his attackers and flee, this version of events was also never put to any of the State's witnesses.

When Ludick asked Lungisa what the jug was made of, he said he did not know, as he was a councillor, not a government official.

"I'm a councillor, not a government employee where you go to the chamber to evaluate the equipment of the municipality," he said.

Throughout the day, Ludick pointed out that Lungisa was not answering the questions being put to him.

"You are not answering direct, simple questions," he said.

At various points Magistrate Morne Cannon also addressed Lungisa on not answering the questions put to him.

"Mr Ludick asked you a question seven questions ago and you still haven't answered that question," he said.

"How is that an answer to what he just asked?" Cannon interjected at another point.

Following Ludick's cross-examination, the case adjourned. The trial is set down to resume on April 3.

Read more on:    andile lungisa  |  courts

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