Home South African ANC appeals disciplinary committee overturns Andile Lungisa’s suspension

ANC appeals disciplinary committee overturns Andile Lungisa’s suspension

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The ANC national disciplinary committee (NDC) has overturned the suspension of former ANC Youth League deputy president Andile Lungisa

Andile Lungisa. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

THE ANC national disciplinary committee (NDC) has overturned the suspension of former ANC Youth League deputy president Andile Lungisa.

Lungisa was placed on 18 months’ suspension by the ANC in the Eastern Cape following his conviction of assaulting a DA councillor during a disruptive Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s meeting.

The Grahamstown High Court in 2018 sentenced Lungisa to three years in jail, of which one was suspended, for smashing a water jug over the head of DA councillor Ryno Kayser in 2016.

In his bid to fight his suspension by his party, Lungisa made several failed attempts in the high court, Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein and the Constitutional Court.

He began his prison sentence immediately after the dismissal of his application by the Constitutional Court.

While in custody, the ANC Eastern Cape disciplinary committee found him guilty in absentia for contravening the party’s constitution and his membership was suspended for 18 months.

However, Lungisa approached the NDC to appeal the sanction imposed on saying the provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) was not properly constituted when it ruled against him.

He also argued that the provincial presenter did not have legal grounds to present and also that the charges against him were served on him outside of the six months prescribed by the party’s constitution.

Three other ANC members – Phendule Mbewu, Nolusapho Nikani and Tobeka Dumisa, all from the Eastern Cape – also appealed their membership suspension to the NDC.

The appeal’s committee consolidated their cases as one when it considered their appeals.

NDC chairperson Nocawe Mafu said all the parties were asked to make representations to the committee and Lungisa had conducted his own defence.

In overturning the suspension, Mafu said Lungisa and three members raised a formidable argument that the PDC was not properly constituted.

“They also alleged that documents to support the legitimacy of the PDC were sought at the commencement of the PDC proceedings but were not provided. Hence the NDC’s directive to the office of the provincial secretary that such documents be provided.

“To support its contention that the PDC members were not properly appointed by the PEC, the ANC provided a report of a PEC meeting held on August 23 and 24 last year and a document dated December 2017 (as) evidence of the appointment of some of the PDC members. Letters of invitation to PDC members to serve in the PDC were also produced,” Mafu said.

She said after examining the documents in detail, the NDC was not satisfied that some members of the PDC, who participated in the disciplinary hearings of the applicants, were properly appointed to serve in that structure.

“In the NDC’s view, the documents were not actual or redacted minutes of a PEC meeting which would have demonstrated conclusively that members of the PDC be appointed by the PEC – a requirement set out in Rule 19.9.17 of the ANC constitution.”

Mafu, in upholding the appeal of the four, reminded the ANC “procedural compliance is a cornerstone of ANC discipline”.

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