ANC Eastern Cape top gun Andile Lungisa returned home to a hero’s welcome on Tuesday. Lungisa was released from jail on parole after serving two months of his two-year jail term for hitting DA councillor, Rano Kayser, with a jug full of water in 2016 during a heated council meeting.
Correctional Services Spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo, says his release is part of the President’s Special Remission of Sentences aimed at reducing overcrowding in prisons.
It reduced Lungisa’s sentence by a year, making him one of the over 14 000 inmates who have benefitted from the Special Remission of Sentence.
“Classified as a first time offender with a positive support system, and having responded positively to rehabilitation programmes, parole placement for Lungisa is in line with Section 73(7)(a) of the Correctional Services Act. The Act determines the minimum period of sentence that must be served before consideration for possible parole placement. This must be read together with Section 276(1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act as it stipulates a mandatory one sixth of the sentence to be served before any consideration for parole,” Nxumalo says.
The Andile Lungisa Campaign organised the welcoming bash for the former ANC Youth League leader.
His supporters gathered at the Vuyisile Mini Square in Port Elizabeth.
“He is the hero amongst heroes and his history of activism speaks for itself. He was sent to jail for defending the gains made by fighting for democracy,” the Release Lungisa Campaign has said.
Former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo was one of the former ANC leaders who welcomed Lungisa back into society.
Mahumapelo accused some people of working hard to destroy Lungisa’s political career.
On his part, Lungisa said he went to prison because he fought the Democratic Alliance (DA).
The DA governed the Nelson Mandela Bay metro until Athol Trollip was ousted during a council vote in 2018.
Lungisa says he doesn’t lose sleep thinking about his victim, Kayser.
Lungisa called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to stop attacking his predecessor, Jacob Zuma. Lungisa believes the ANC’s fight against corruption is selective. He says while some governing party leaders are targeted in the crusade, some are persecuted within the party due to dissenting views. He also blamed the COVID-19 crisis in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro to lack of leadership.
The former deputy president of the ANC Youth League also blasted the country’s leadership for failure to pluck poor South Africans out of poverty. He says he will be visiting villages in preparation for, what he termed, the biggest conference the country has seen.
He says that’s where they will table an economic programme for South Africa before the ANC’s National General Council. The governing party was due to be held in the second half of the year but was postponed due to COVID-19. It has now been scheduled for May 2021.
The NGC discusses and debates strategic organisational and political issues facing the movement. While it charts the way forward – it cannot change policies or resolutions adopted by the party’s five-yearly national conference.
The ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Committee says it will release a statement on the Lungisa matter in due course.
South Africans have meanwhile reacted with mixed views to the former ANC Youth League deputy president’s release from prison, with some questioning the country’s justice system.