Two African National Congress (ANC) councillors from Nelson Mandela Bay were back in the Port Elizabeth Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday on charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The charges against them relate to a violent brawl that broke out during a council meeting in November last year.
Gamalihleli Maqula, 28, and Andile Lungisa, 39, appeared in court separately on Tuesday. 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.
The case against Lungisa was postponed, as the State was still waiting for an outstanding statement from a witness while the case against Maqula was also postponed until March 30, for the State to obtain video footage.
According to sources, Maqula stabbed Democratic Alliance chief whip Werner Senekal in the back with a sharp object, while Lungisa apparently hit DA councillor Rano Kayser with a glass jug over his head during a council meeting that turned chaotic.
Volumes of blood were seen in photographs that circulated on social media, as the council chambers turned into a conflict zone.
Meanwhile, the pair were supported in court by fellow ANC members including party leader and former deputy mayor Bicks Ndoni.
Ndoni said the party would not interfere with the case, and they expected justice to take its course.
“Political matters must be solved politically. I also believe there was certain councillors who approached police to lay charges, we are not sure who exactly, but that matter is still ongoing. We hope the cases will be concluded theses processes are beyond our control,” Ndoni said.
Commenting on the brawl, Ndoni said that the situation could have been handled in a better way by council speaker Jonathan Lawack.
“We said from the onset things could have been handled in a better way. The way the meeting was handled, things became chaotic and things started deteriorating. The speaker must always use his or her judgment when situations arise, you cannot continue with council meeting when there is complete chaos as soon possibly chaos is detected, we must adjourn,” said Ndoni.
– African News Agency