The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed former ANC youth league deputy president Andile Lungisa’s appeal against his assault conviction and sentence.
In 2018, the former youth league leader was found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and sentenced to three years in prison, of which one year was suspended for a period of five years on condition that he was not convicted of similar crimes during the period of suspension.
Lungisa smashed a glass jug over the head of former mayoral committee member for transport Rano Kayser at a Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council chamber at a meeting held in 2016.
In its ruling handed down on Wednesday, The SCA said: “The appeal is dismissed. It was conceded on the appellant’s behalf that the offence he committed was “particularly serious and even egregious”.
The court highlighted the fact that the “weapon” used in assaulting the complainant was particularly dangerous.
“The complainant was hit with such force that the glass jug shattered. The assault, which was applied on a sensitive part of the complainant’s head, his temple, could have resulted in death or brain damage. It was also stressed that the complainant was told by the doctor that he was ‘lucky to be alive’. The medico-legal report clearly evidences the life threatening nature of the injuries sustained by the complainant.
“As a leader of the ANC in the Council, who was responsible for instilling discipline among his fellow councillors and was a role model for aspiring political leaders, the appellant had a responsibility to lead by example. Instead he did the opposite and his fellow councillors indeed took their cue from him and also threw glasses at other councillors.
“The trial court was correct in its description of the councillors’ conduct as that of ‘street thugs’ and in remarking that the appellant’s conduct should not be tolerated.”
The court added that the sentence imposed by the trial court would equally befit an ordinary member of society.
The SABC has reported that Lungisa says he will consult with his legal team about the SCA ruling on Thursday.