Julius Malema is throwing his weight behind his former fellow comrade Andile Lungisa and is rallying behind him after he reported to prison on Thursday, 17 September 2020, to begin serving his sentence for assault.
Lungisa was an African National Congress (ANC) councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay spent his first night behind bars after he handed himself over to the North End Correctional Centre in Port Elizabeth.
Some of Lungisa’s supporters, including prominent ANC leaders like Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina are unhappy over his sentence and have expressed their disapproval on social media with the hashtag #FreeAndileLungisa leading on the trends list.
Malema worked with Lungisa as his deputy while he was the ANC Youth League’s President. He took to social media to express support for him, saying he had done nothing wrong and would be visiting Lungisa in prison.
“(Andile Lungisa) did nothing wrong, and I support him. I will soon visit him in jail and support all initiatives to get him out of jail soon. Be strong my DP; you are our generational deputy President,” he tweeted. Masina, one of Lungisa’s most vocal supporters also reacted. “We are learning the hardest lesson in Politics today. We will continue the struggle Mbajwa,” he tweeted.
In an event that would change his life, Lungisa hit Ryno Kayser, a fellow Democratic Alliance (DA) Councillor with a glass water jug on the head, during a heated scuffle in 2016.
The Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown subsequently found him guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and sentenced him to an effective two years in prison – one year suspended. He then challenged the ruling with the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which dismissed his appeal. The SCA said it found no basis to interfere with the sentence imposed by the lower courts.
However – he is not going down without a fight and has applied for bail pending the outcome of an application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
Addressing his support outside the prison, Lungisa, who has said the charges against him were politically motivated, said he believes the viral video of the assault was doctored to ensure he is convicted.
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