The case against two African National Congress (ANC) councillors from Nelson Mandela Bay, who are facing charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, was postponed once again in the Port Elizabeth Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
The charges against the councillors relate to a violent brawl that broke out during a council meeting in October last year.
Gamalihleli Maqula, 28, and Andile Lungisa, 39, appeared briefly in court. Their cases have since been joined and a pre-trial conference was meant to get under way.
However, their lawyer Luthando Nqgakayi, was not available for proceedings, as he was busy attending to another matter.
The councillors were supported by a host of ANC members who attended court proceedings.
In contrast to previous court appearances, no DA members were at court on Thursday.
Following the incident, the pair handed themselves over to police and are currently out on bail of R1,000 each.
Maqula has a previous conviction for kidnapping and assault of a teenage boy and is currently serving a sentence of correctional supervision.
Last month, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality called an urgent media briefing alleging that the complainants in the case, Chief Whip of council Werner Senekal, and Mayoral committee head for roads and transport, Rano Kayser, had received “verified death threats via SMS” which were linked to the ongoing criminal case against Lungisa and Maqula.
It is alleged that Maqula stabbed Senekal in the back with a sharp object while Lungisa apparently hit Kayser, with a glass jug over his head during the council meeting which turned chaotic.
At the time, Executive Mayor Athol Trollip, said that there was “direct information there is a contract or hit team to do the work”, adding that there were continued concerns over the safety of members from his Mayoral Committee team.
Since the alleged death threats came to light, both Senekal and Kayser have received beefed up security.
The ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay has condemned the alleged death threats made against Senekal and Kayser, but slammed the DA coalition government for insinuating that ANC members were involved.
The case was postponed until August 16.