- Former ANC youth league leader and councillor Andile Lungisa has begun serving his two-year jail term on Thursday.
- Meanwhile, Lungisa has applied to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal his sentence, after his applications to the lower courts failed.
- The NPA will oppose his application for bail, pending the outcome of the leave to appeal, which is expected to take place on Monday.
Embattled former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader Andile Lungisa has begun serving his two-year jail sentence in North End Prison in Port Elizabeth, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed.
Regional NPA spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani told News24 that Lungisa started serving his sentence on Thursday.
Ngcakani said Lungisa reported to the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth before the required deadline at noon on Thursday.
“Yes, we can confirm that he has started serving his sentence,” she said.
Earlier on Thursday, ANCYL convener Thandi Mahambehlala addressed Lungisa’s supporters in Port Elizabeth, saying he is being persecuted by the “old guard” and that their time will come.
Mahambehlala, who was part of the Youth League leadership in the Western Cape when Lungisa was the deputy president, went on to pledge her support for the former leader.
“Andile is one of us. Those who are not here today, I want to tell them every dog has its day. This persecution that we see today of Andile by the old guard – we are saying your time will come. We are here as this generation to ensure that Andile does not walk alone entering the walls of the prison,” she said.
She added that, as the younger generation, they would unite against whatever enemy they saw, “and we make it a point that we eliminate that enemy”.
Lungisa was convicted in 2018 of assault with intent to do bodily harm after he broke a glass jar on the head of DA councillor, Rana Kayser during a brawl in a council sitting.
He appealed his sentence to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which rejected his application last week after finding that there was no basis to interfere with the trial court’s judgment. It found that the lower court had appropriately balanced Lungisa’s circumstances, the nature and seriousness of the crime committed, and the interests of society.
Lungisa has now turned to the apex court in the hope of overturning his conviction.
“Earlier today, the NPA received copies of his application to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the sentence and the notice of motion to apply for bail, pending the outcome of the application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court. The bail application will be heard on Monday at the Grahamstown High Court at 14:00. The NPA will oppose bail,” NPA regional spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said.
On Thursday, the Herald reported that Lungisa argued in his Constitutional Court application that overall conditions on prisons, and the entire prison system had been affected by Covid-19, and that prisoners were lying on top of one another.
“It is no secret that the prisons are overcrowded and are nests of violence, drug dealing and sodomy, nor that there is no prospect of rehabilitation since prisoners are kept in custody for 23 of every 24 hours.”
The Herald reported that Lungisa said that prisons could correctly be described as schools of criminality.
He argued that conditions in prison were not conducive to human dignity, that there was little to no access to water, no privacy when going to the toilet, and that the food was appalling, The Herald reported.
In a recent interview with News24, Lungisa said he was prepared for prison, adding that he would continue as an activist for his community.
He has received support from former Youth League members who protested against his imprisonment.
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