Instead of spending his hard-earned money on ensuring his children had a festive Christmas, former ANC councillor Andile Lungisa says he has had to fork out legal fees for trumped-up charges.
“This is just a waste of time and my children’s money for Christmas as it is now going to legal fees,” he said.
Lungisa was speaking outside the Motherwell magistrate’s court on Thursday, where he made a brief appearance.
He was arrested in July for contravening the Disaster Management Act.
The charges relate to a march he allegedly led in Motherwell earlier in July to hand over a petition against former president Jacob Zuma’s incarceration for contempt of court.
According to the charge sheet, Lungisa allegedly illegally convened a gathering of more than 30 people on July 2 at Addo Road and Malinge Street.
The case was postponed to January 25.
Lungisa’s attorney, Alwyn Griebenow, said he was ready for trial but the charge sheet needed to be amended.
He said the charge sheet referred to the lockdown level that was in place before the date Lungisa allegedly committed the offence.
Outside court, Lungisa said the charges were a “political prosecution”.
“This was initially a case related to instigating violence which they failed to prove and later changed to a breach of disaster management regulations,” he said.
“Even now with the breaching of the disaster management regulations, there’s nothing. They are still going to revise the charge,” he said.
Lungisa said the court had no grounds to prosecute him.
On the day of the march, Lungisa said he handed over the petition and had chanced upon a crowd already protesting.
“There were police officers present during the whole process.
“I will come back in January but they won’t succeed,” he said.
NPA spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said the case was postponed as the investigating officer still needed to summon two state witnesses.