African National Congress (ANC) councillor in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Andile Lungisa, returned to his seat at a special council meeting this past week, shortly after being released on bail.
He was serving a two year sentence after being found guilty of assault with the intention to do grievous bodily harm.
He has been freed on bail while his legal team petitions the high court for leave to appeal his conviction.
The release opened the door for him to return to council.
“I was voted in the last election, I am part of the ANC contingent which is councillors in this municipality, I am exercising my rights.”
Speaker on Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Johnathan Lawack says:”No one may be regarded as having being sentenced until an appeal of conviction or sentencing has been determined, or until a time for appeal, so it’s my understanding that you need to start the process.”
Lungisa and his legal team have petitioned the Grahamstown high court for an application for leave to appeal.
Political analyst Ongama Mtimka says:”Well I think it’s well within his rights to attend council, given the fact that he has lodged an appeal – and there does seem to be a difference of opinion within legal authorities on the appeal of conviction, given the context.”
The petition still sits with the judge president of the Eastern Cape and a decision is yet to be made.
A decision that is crucial for his political career.
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