Councillor testifies about being hit over head with water jug by ANC's Andile Lungisa

2018-01-22 21:18
DA councillor Rayno Kayser receives medical treatment  after being hit on the head with a glass water jug. (Photo supplied)

DA councillor Rayno Kayser receives medical treatment after being hit on the head with a glass water jug. (Photo supplied)

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Port Elizabeth – Member of the mayoral committee for transport Rano Kayser took to the stand to testify against ANC provincial heavyweight Andile Lungisa in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Monday afternoon.

Lungisa and Gamalihleli Maqula, both ANC councillors in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, are facing charges of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, relating to a brawl in council chambers on October 27, 2016.

Lungisa is accused of smashing a glass jug over Kayser's head, while Maqula is accused of stabbing chief whip Werner Senekal in the back with a sharp object.

ALSO READ: Andile Lungisa assault trial: Damning video played in court

They have both pleaded not guilty.

State prosecutor Wayne Ludick called Kayser to the stand to lead evidence relating to when he was attacked by Lungisa during a council meeting.

Kayser, who sits at the front of the council chambers as part of the mayoral committee, described how the council meeting had broken down during a debate on the suspension of chief financial officer Trevor Harper.

Lost consciousness

He said an ANC councillor behind him, whom he identified as Andile Mfunda, had said "we are ready to fight".

Kayser said that when the second item on the agenda came up, namely the referral of ANC councillor Xola Sabani to the ethics committee for possible disciplinary processes, the speaker had asked Sabani to leave but he refused.

Kayser said when the motion against Sabani had passed, he witnessed Lungisa speaking to another ANC councillor, Makhi Feni, and the two of them approaching the speaker.

Kayser said when the two approached the speaker, and he saw Feni grab the speaker's arm, he got up to ask them to sit down so that council could proceed.

"It was at this stage that Lungisa took the jug of water and hit me over the head with it. I fell down on the ground unconscious, I don't know how long," he said.

He regained consciousness and was assisted by colleagues and later medics from the ambulance service.

He said he was taken to St George's Hospital, where he received stitches to a gash on the left side of his temple, and had lacerations and bruising on his arm and neck.

Glass also had to be removed from his neck and chest.

He said he was discharged later the same evening.

Was never his intent to harm Lungisa

Under cross-examination, Lungisa's defence attorney, Luthando Ngqakayi, asked Kayser how he had seen Lungisa and Feni, if they were behind him.

Kayser replied that because the environment was chaotic, he had been vigilant and had turned around in his seat.

Ngqakayi asked when Kayser had seen Lungisa pick up the jug, as there was some confusion from earlier testimony.

Kayser replied that the jug had been on the edge of the speaker's table, and he had seen Lungisa reaching for it, which is why he had intervened.

Kayser was also asked about the allegations made that councillor Feni had grabbed the speaker, as this was not in the original statement made by Kayser, nor was it in the video evidence.

Kayser told Ngqakayi that this had happened just before the video footage placed before court was taken.

Kayser perceived as 'hostile'

"When Feni grabbed the speaker, Lungisa reached out for the jug, when I came up he grabbed it and hit me," he said.

Ngqakayi said Lungisa would argue that he had seen Kayser undoing the cuffs of his shirt and had assumed Kayser was coming to fight with him.

"He will testify that he perceived you as hostile," he said.

Kayser said this was not the case. He said his only intention had been to ask Lungisa to return to his seat.

Following Kayser's testimony, Ludick called councillor Jonny Arends to testify, but an interpreter was not available to assist.

Arends is the last witness for the State against Lungisa. Ludick is then expected to proceed with the State's case against Maqula.

Magistrate Morne Cannon warned Arends to return on Tuesday, before court stood down for the day. The case continues on Tuesday.

Read more on:    anc  |  port elizabeth  |  crime

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