Lungisa and co behaved like 'common street thugs, broke community's trust' – magistrate

2018-05-09 15:25
Andile Lungisa leaving Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court (File, Derrick Spies, News24)

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

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ANC Eastern Cape heavyweight Andile Lungisa has been sentenced to three years in jail by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court for assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Lungisa, who pleaded not guilty in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court, was accused of smashing a glass jug over the head of former member of the mayoral committee Rano Kayser, during a Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting in October 2016.

Magistrate Morne Cannon said Lungisa had shown no remorse for his actions and sentenced him to three years, with one year suspended for a period of five years. This means Lungisa will serve an effective two-year jail term.

READ: Andile Lungisa gets 2 years in jail for assault

He also ruled that Lungisa was unfit to possess a firearm.

Cannon again reiterated that the matter was not political even though Lungisa was an ANC councillor, Kayser was a DA councillor and the incident occurred during a council meeting.

Cannon acknowledged that Lungisa was a first-time offender and provided for his family, including seven children aged between two and 16.

He said the court also had to take into account that he was an elected public representative tasked with representing public interests and that he had a duty to behave a certain way. Cannon said on the day in question Lungisa and others involved in chaos had behaved as common street thugs.

"It is my view you betrayed the trust of the community," he said.

Cannon said it was crucial that the court is seen handing down an effective sentence, otherwise, the community could lose faith in the justice system and take the law into their own hands.

A video before court, taken by DA councillor Renaldo Gouws, showed how Lungisa slammed the jug over Kayser's head before he fled, and how Kayser fell backwards and landed on the floor.

Kayser sustained multiple lacerations to his head and neck, including a deep gash to his left temple that required stitches.

Earlier, prosecutor Wayne Ludick called Kayser back to the stand to testify about the impact the assault had on him.

Kayser testified about the extent of the injuries sustained and told the court how his doctor had said he was lucky to be alive.

He said he still suffered migraines from the injury and was constantly taking pain pills.

Kayser also told the court that the attack had affected him emotionally as he was embarrassed and humiliated, especially because of the high media coverage it had received. He said the case had also affected his family, especially after the video had been released following the court proceedings.

Lungisa also testified in his defence for mitigation of sentence, saying he was remorseful for the incident that had taken place and that he sympathised with Kayser and wanted to say sorry.

Ludick, however, challenged him, pointing out that in the correctional supervision report submitted to court, he still maintained that he had done nothing wrong.

Lungisa countered by saying he had accepted the court's decision.

Lungisa's co-accused, Gamalihleli Maqula, had also faced a charge of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, for allegedly stabbing Nelson Mandela Bay's chief whip Werner Senekal in the back during the same meeting.

Maqula was acquitted after an application in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act, lodged after the State concluded its case against him.

Read more on:    andile lungisa  |  port elizabeth

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