Port Elizabeth - African National Congress (ANC) councillor and provincial heavyweight Andile Lungisa was on Tuesday convicted by the Port Elizabeth Regional Court of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Magistrate Morne Cannon found that Lungisa intentionally smashed a glass jug over the head of former mayoral committee member for transport Rano Kayser during a Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting which turned chaotic in October 2016.
The meeting erupted in violence and some councillors had to receive trauma counselling.
Cannon found that Lungisa was a poor witness who “tailored his version as the trial proceeded”.
He said that Lungisa was vague, evasive and contradicted himself during the trial.
Cannon further said Lungisa’s version that Kayser wanted to assault him was not supported in the video footage taken by DA councillor Renaldo Gouws.
He praised the State witnesses, saying that their evidence was corroborated by the video footage.
“It’s clear in the video that [Kayser] did not hit [Lungisa].
“There were contradictions but in my view the contradictions were immaterial. The fact that there were differences point to their honesty in that they didn’t collude,” said Cannon.
Cannon said the video evidence showed that there was no reason for Lungisa to hit Kayser, thereby dismissing Lungisa’s self-defence claim.
“Even though the situation was chaotic there was no reason for the accused to hit the complainant,” he added.
Lungisa was taken to the courts holding cells and is being kept in custody.
The matter was postponed to give defence attorney Luthando Ngqakayi time to consult.
The defence and State now need to address the court on sentencing.
African News Agency/ANA