Jailed ANC heavyweight Andile Lungisa has risked drawing further ire from the judiciary this week, after he implied that judges in the Supreme Court conspired against him. The former Eastern Cape councillor says that his imprisonment was a ‘stitch-up’ – but his comments haven’t gone down well with the bench.
Andile Lungisa’s ‘offensive remarks’ to the judiciary.
The controversial politician is due to present a case to the Constitutional Court on Friday, in a bid to overturn his conviction. Speaking before he began his prison term last week, Andile Lungisa went on a tirade against SA’s legal system:
“We couldn’t do anything in court because there was a collaboration of those who are within our ranks, including those who are part of the old regime. They collaborated with the magistrate, then they got to the prosecutor. It then went to Grahamstown. It went to Bloemfontein. In Bloemfontein, the majority of the judges come from the Eastern Cape.”
“When our matter was there in Bloemfontein, the husband of the judges who presided over my case was promoted. Their children were given contracts and we expect that there will be a fair outcome? You think there is what is called fair justice?”
SCA reject ‘false claims’
But for the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), that won’t do. They issued a statement of their own on Wednesday evening, tearing strips off the disgraced ANC representative. The memo brands Andile Lungisa’s claims as ‘offensive’, saying that his allegations are ‘wholly unsubstantiated’. If he fails to retract the remarks, he could face further legal action:
“Any criticism against the Judiciary should be fair and made in good faith. More importantly, such criticism should be specific and clear. Efforts to discredit the Judiciary by leveling allegations of corruption against the Judiciary as a whole or against individual judges and political figures or role-players without any further substantiation must be condemned.”
“Any person with credible evidence of corruption or undue influence within the Judiciary must come forward. Without evidence, such allegations cannot be investigated. The rights of Presidents Maya, the SCA judges concerned and Judge President Mbenenge have demanded a retraction of the offensive remarks from Mr Lungisa.”
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