Suspended Eastern Cape ANC councillor Andile Lungisa has made an about-turn on comments he made about some of the country’s top judges just before his imprisonment, saying his utterances were false and without merit.
In a signed statement posted on the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Twitter account, Lungisa withdrew his allegation that his case was unfairly decided because of political pressure and affiliation.
“This retraction is made to the two judges who heard my appeal against my conviction and sentence in the Grahamstown high court and the judge president of that division (Eastern Cape Division) as well as to the five Appeal Court judges who heard the appeal against my sentence in the Supreme Court of Appeal, Bloemfontein.
“I unequivocally retract the statement made to the media and my followers on September 17, 2020, immediately before my incarceration started at North End correctional facility in which I made certain unfounded comments regarding the above-mentioned judges,” read the statement.
“I admit that my statement regarding [these] judges were false and without merit and thus wrongful.”
Lungisa was convicted in 2018 for assaulting DA councillor Rano Kayser during a heated council brawl in 2016. The former ANC youth leader received an effective two years’ imprisonment for smashing a glass jug against Kayser’s head.
Last month, he was ordered to begin serving his sentence in the North End Prison in Port Elizabeth. However, after a brief stint of incarceration, he was granted bail of R10,000 pending the outcome of his application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
Some of SA’s top judges, including SCA president Mandisa Maya, SCA judges and the judge president of the Eastern Cape division of the high court, Selby Mbenenge, had demanded a retraction of Lungisa’s offensive remarks.