ANC must regain control of Nelson Mandela Metro, says Andile Lungisa
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Johannesburg - Former ANC councillor Andile Lungisa has vowed to campaign for the ANC in the upcoming local government elections after his party’s national disciplinary committee set aside his 18-month suspension imposed by the Eastern Cape ANC.
Now cleared, Lungisa said he was ready to help his party regain control of the Nelson Mandela Metro, currently run by a DA-controlled coalition.
Last week, the ANC’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) upheld Lungisa’s appeal after he argued the party’s Eastern Cape disciplinary committee contravened the party’s constitution when they served him with charges outside the prescribed six-month period set down by the party.
The NDC agreed with Lungisa’s submission.
It found the provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) was not properly instituted prior to proferring disciplinary charges against Lungisa and three others: Phendule Mbewu, Nolusapho Nikani and Tobeka Dumisa.
Reacting to the ruling, Lungisa said he was very happy the ANC had defended its constitution, and that the NDC had handled his appeal in a transparent manner.
“The NDC had followed guidelines of the ANC constitution. My focus now is to campaign for the party in the upcoming local government elections. We will be campaigning for the victory of ANC councillors in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro,” he said.
Lungisa was suspended for 18 months following his conviction for assaulting a DA councillor during a disruptive Nelson Mandela Metro Municipality meeting in 2016.
In 2018, the Grahamstown High Court sentenced Lungisa to three years in jail, of which one was suspended, for smashing a water jug over the head of DA councillor Ryno Kayser.
Lungisa made several failed attempts to appeal his sentence, in the high court, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein and finally the Constitutional Court.
He went prison on September 17 last year, but was released on parole on December 1.
While in custody, the ANC Eastern Cape disciplinary committee found him guilty in absentia for contravening the party’s constitution, and his membership was suspended for 18 months.
Lungisa approached the NDC to appeal his conviction saying the provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) was not properly constituted when it ruled against him.
The three other ANC members, Mbewu, Nikani and Dumisa, also appealed to the NDC against their membership suspension The committee consolidated their cases as one.
NDC chairperson Nocawe Mafu said all the parties were asked to make representation to them, and Lungisa had conducted his own defence.
She said the NDC was not satisfied that some members of the PDC, who participated in the disciplinary hearings of the applicants, were properly appointed to serve in that structure.
“In the NDC’s view, the documents were not actual or redacted minutes of a PEC meeting, which would have demonstrated conclusively that members of the PDC be appointed by the PEC - a requirement set out in Rule 19.9.17 of the ANC constitution.
In upholding the appeal of the four, she noted that “procedural compliance is a cornerstone of ANC discipline”.
“If the PDC was not properly constituted, it follows that a material irregularity was committed and the disciplinary proceedings are vitiated. Having arrived at this conclusion, the NDC did not consider it necessary to adjudicate all the other grounds of review advanced by the applicants,” Mafu said.
Eastern Cape ANC spokesperson Loyiso Magqashela and head of communication Gift Ngqondi were not available for comment.