The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema seems to have somewhat reacted to his former fellow comrade Andile Lungisa’s prison sentence, which has outraged some members of the African National Congress (ANC)
Lungisa, who was an ANC councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay, has spent his first night behind bars after reporting to the North End Correctional Centre in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, 17 September 2020.
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 throws support behind Andile Lungisa
Malema, who was the ANC Youth League’s President, worked with Lungisa as his deputy. He took to social media where he tweeted three broken heart emoticons next to his name and that of former ANC Western Cape leader Songezo Mjongile, who reportedly succumbed to colon cancer.
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.
Lungisa: ‘Video tampered with’
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.
He also said there was no bad blood between him and Kayser.
“The battle we are facing today is not new. We were not born yesterday. We have not jumped any stage. I interact with Rano Kayser on a daily basis. We have no problem. I even go to his house and spend time with his family. He even told the paper he has no issue with me. I believe the video was tampered with,” he said.
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