PORT ELIZABETH, January 29 – A “double booking” by ANC councillor Andile Lungisa’s defence attorney, has resulted in the assault case against him and fellow councillor Gamalihleli Maqula, being postponed to March.
The two Nelson Mandela Bay councillors are facing charges of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, in relation to the now infamous brawl during a council meeting in October 2016.
Lungisa is accused of smashing a glass jug over the head of mayoral committee member for transport, Rano Kayser, while Maqula is accused of stabbing chief whip, Werner Seneka, in the back with a sharp object.
They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Proceedings were delayed in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Monday, as both the Lungsa trial and that of Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso had been scheduled to be heard in court 22. Omotoso’s case was subsequently moved to court 20.
When proceedings began, State prosecutor Wayne Ludick told magistrate Morne Cannon he was ready to proceed, and that his next witness was available to be called.
Defence attorney, Luthando Ngqakayi, however, asked to address the court and said he had accidentally double booked himself and would not be able to proceed.
“I apologise to this court and all involved for wasting the court’s time, and ask if this matter can roll over until tomorrow” he said.
However, when the witness, a police captain, was asked by Cannon if she was available to appear on Tuesday, she said she was unfortunately not available until next week.
Cannon pointed out that he would not be available for the next six weeks, and court was briefly adjourned, for Ngqakayi to try and get his other matter postponed, so that the witness could testify.
However, when court reconvened, Ngqakayi was not present and had sent someone to stand in for him, with his diary, to have the matter postponed.
Cannon set the matter down to be heard on the 19th and 20th of March and court was adjourned.
– African News Agency (ANA)