Mandela Bay city manager tells court he 'saw ANC councillor stab chief whip'

2018-01-23 22:19
Andile Lungisa (File, Netwerk24)

Andile Lungisa (File, Netwerk24)

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Port Elizabeth – Nelson Mandela Bay city manager Johann Mettler told the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Tuesday that he had seen ANC councillor Gamalihleli Maqula allegedly stab the chief whip during a fracas in council in October 2016.

Mettler was testifying in the assault case against Maqula and ANC provincial heavyweight Andile Lungisa.

The two, who are both ANC councillors in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, have pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Lungisa is accused of smashing a glass jug over the head of mayoral committee member for transport, Rano Kayser, while Maqula is accused of stabbing chief whip Werner Senekal in the back with a sharp object.

'I saw movement behind him'

Earlier in the day, a video was played which showed a man, identified as Maqula, making a stabbing action behind Senekal as he was re-entering the council chambers.

Senekal also testified earlier, with the court having to adjourn briefly as he became emotional when asked by state prosecutor Wayne Ludick to discuss the stabbing.

READ: Andile Lungisa assault trial: UDM councillor asks media to be removed

Mettler took the stand after lunch and told the court he had been inside the chambers when the stabbing allegedly took place.

Mettler, who stands over two metres tall, said he had a clear view of Senekal as he re-entered the chambers, and had seen Maqula, who was behind the chief whip, make a stabbing motion.

"I saw movement behind him and an arm making a rapid downward movement in his direction," he said.

Mettler said that at the same time, Senekal had taken a step forward and made a facial expression, as if in pain.

'I saw what happened'

He said this led him to draw the conclusion that Senekal had been stabbed, and went to assist.

He said when they checked Senekal for injuries, he noticed that his jacket had been perforated on the top right-hand side. He said he also saw a laceration on his back, but no blood.

Under cross-examination from defence attorney Luthando Ngqakayi, Mettler said he did not see anything in Maqula's hand, nor did he see Maqula's hand make contact with Senekal's back.

Asked about Senekal's testimony earlier, that he was not aware of being injured, Mettler said Senekal had probably been in a state of shock.

"I saw what happened. I think it could have been disbelief. You don't come to council expecting to be stabbed by one of your colleagues," he said.

Following Mettler's testimony, court adjourned for the day.

The case is scheduled to resume on Monday, January 29.

Read more on:    anc  |  andile lungisa

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