Controversial ANC representative Andile Lungisa has temporarily regained his freedom, after spending a week in prison. The former councillor has succesfully applied for leave to appeal his conviction, allowing him to post a hefty bail sum.
Freedom… for a little while
In total, Andile Lungisa was asked to cough-up R10 000 to secure bail. He was initially convicted in 2018, after smashing a glass judge over a DA councillor’s head during a heated local Parliamentary meeting in Nelson Mandela. Following several delays and interruptions, the case finally returned to court this year – and it didn’t end favourably for Lungisa.
The party heavyweight has continued to plead innocence, despite video evidence highlighting the brutality of his crime. Andile Lungisa maintains he was acting in self-defence, and has fought tooth and nail to avoid the cells. Earlier this month, the politician penned a letter explaining why he would ‘not be suited’ to prison life.
Why has Andile Lungisa been granted bail?
His pleas haven’t completely fallen on deaf ears, it seems. Judge Sunil Rugunanan made the decision to grant Lungisa a repireve on Friday, explaining that ‘the interests of justice would not have been served’ if the ANC firebrand remained in jail. Rugunanan did, however, reassure the public that Andile Lungisa would return to jail if his appeal fails:
“If I were to refuse bail and the application for leave to appeal is successful, whenever that may be, then the applicant will be deprived of his freedom unnecessarily and the interests of justice will not be served. If however bail is granted and leave to appeal fails, then he will inevitably proceed to serve his sentence,”
Judge Rugunanan on the Andile Lungisa case
BREAKING: Convicted former ANC Councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay, Andile Lungisa granted bail of R10 000. This comes after he applied for leave to appeal his sentence with the Constitutional Court.
— Joshua Dickinson (@JoshPDickinson) September 25, 2020
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