Andile Lungisa

Andile Lungisa / Image via Twitter: Andile Lungisa

ANC orders Andile Lungisa to step down following criticism of Ramaphosa

The ANC Nelson Mandela Bay regional task force (RTT) have ordered Andile Lungisa to step down and intends suspending his membership

Andile Lungisa

Andile Lungisa / Image via Twitter: Andile Lungisa

The rifts within the African National Congress (ANC) continue trickling down to other structures as the party’s Nelson Mandela Bay leadership seems to be locked in a battle over Andile Lungisa.

This comes after the regional task team (RTT) coordinator Luyolo Nqakula wrote a letter to Lungisa, in which he asks him to step down as a councillor and also suspending him from the party.

However, it appears some of Lungisa’s allies within the party will have none of it as they have staged a picket outside the ANC regional offices in Port Elizabeth on Monday, 31 August 2020.

Lungisa’s supporters up in arms over regional task team

Members are calling for the removal the RTT, saying they have formed their own team.

According to Nqakula, the decision was prompted by a ruling handed down by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court, which found Lungisa guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and sentenced him to an effective two years in prison.

“It is common knowledge that on or about April/May 2018 you were found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court of which you have appealed against…As such on the basis of the above mentioned matter pleased be advised as follows…”, Nqakula said in his letter.

During a chaotic council sitting in 2016, the former youth leader smashed a full glass water jug over an opposition councillor’s head.

Lungisa has approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, seeking to have his sentence overturned.

While the decision to finally give the ANC strongman the boot will likely please those who have criticised the party for failing to deal with unruly members, the timing of the decision also raises interesting questions.

Andile Lungisa challenges President Ramaphosa

It comes at a time when the internal battles of Africa’s longest running liberation movement appear to be reaching boiling point, in light of a strongly-worded letter penned by Cyril Ramaphosa, in which he addresses the corruption claims within.

Lungisa is one of the prominent party leaders who have challenged the president, over the funds raised during his CR17 campaign. Interestingly, he was a fierce defender of former president Jacob Zuma and had even endorsed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the party’s leadership conference.

“I am wondering what would have been the attitude if it were my campaigners who fundraised close to [R1bn], but it seems we are expected to be quiet because it’s president Ramaphosa’s campaigners”, he is quoted as saying.

“There is an affidavit to the public protector wherein Cde president Cyril Ramaphosa, in his own words, admitted to the fact that bank accounts were opened for the purposes of fundraising for his campaign to be ANC president”, he further said.