The African National Congress' (ANC) Andile Lungisa is not going down without a fight and has told the party he will not be accepting its decision to suspend him.
Lungisa, a Nelson Mandela Bay councillor, was officially suspended by the ANC in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday, 8 September 2020, because of his conviction for assault on a fellow councillor back in 2016.
"I do not, and cannot accept a suspension of my membership which was irregularly suggested. The NEC and the PEC, amongst others have the powers to suspend my membership for fair reasons…However neither the NEC (nor) PEC resolved that my ANC membership be suspended," he said in a letter addressed to the party.
ANC NMB Councillor Andile Lungisa says he will not resign as a councillor and allow his membership to be suspended as per PEC directive. He was served with suspension letter as he's facing criminal charges. He's appealing his conviction.#sabcnews pic.twitter.com/YkjuQqhQbO— McebisiNgqina (@McebisiNgqina) September 9, 2020
Lungisa: 'My membership suspension without due process'
He further told the party that the proper procedure was not followed in his suspension.
"Furthermore, what is more surprising is that my ANC membership is unilaterally suspended without any due process, irregularly and for no good or fair reason," Lungisa said.
He was found guilty by the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in 2018 after he smashed a glass jug full of water, on Democratic Alliance (DA) coucillor Rano Kayser during a heated sitting. Lungisa was sentenced to an effective two years behind bars for the brawl, but he challenged the ruling with the same court, which in turn rejected his application.
The former ANC Youth League leader then approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein where the matter is still being considered.
The decision to suspend him is in the wake of a decision by the National Executive Committee (NEC) earlier in August, that members facing corruption charges needed to step aside.
"Those formally charged with corruption must immediately step aside from all official positions pending finalisation of their cases", ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said.
It is partly on that basis that Lungisa refuses to back down, reminding the party he faces no such charges, while at the same time acknowledging the pending assault matter.
"No doubt, you are fully aware that I have not been charged with, nor convicted of corruption, being the primary basis for the NEC resolutions which you refer to in your letter under reply…", Lungisa said.
The ANC announced it would be suspending him not too long after he asked the party to investigate Ramaphosa for his CR17 campaign funding, which has been a bone of contention within factions in the party.