ANC councillor Andile Lungisa was granted bail of R10,000 in the Port Elizabeth Regional Court on Friday.
Lungisa brought an urgent bail application pending a petition to the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown after Magistrate Mornay Cannon dismissed a previous application for leave to appeal his conviction and two-year sentence.
Lungisa was found guilty in April of intentionally smashing a glass jug over the head of former mayoral committee member for transport, Rano Kayser, during a chaotic 2016 Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting.
Evidence presented before the court included a video taken by DA councillor Renaldo Gouws, which showed how Lungisa slammed the jug over Kayser’s head, before he fled and how Kayser fell backwards and landed on the floor.
The council brawl that happened in 2016: Andile Lungisa is seen throwing a water jug on fellow mayoral committee member Rayno Kayser's head. #Sabcnews
Video: Courtesy of Renaldo Gouws. pic.twitter.com/n8ijeAbY5o
— Jayed-Leigh Paulse (@JayedLeigh) April 17, 2018
Cannon found that the video evidence showed that there was no reason for Lungisa to hit Kayser, thereby dismissing Lungisa’s self-defense claim.
The court also found that Lungisa lacked genuine remorse.
He was sentenced to an effective two years behind bars and is currently serving time at the North End Prison.
In petition papers handed in before the court on Thursday, Lungisa claimed that he did not act like a reasonable person during the chaotic 2016 council meeting and his actions were negligent.
The notice of motion has yet to be heard before the High Court.
In his affidavit, Lungisa claimed that an act of negligence was insufficient for the court to convict him on a charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Lungisa argued that he should have been acquitted on the basis of his subjective belief that he acted in defence.
On his two year sentence, Lungisa said Cannon “overemphasised the seriousness of the offence and the interests of the community”.
He claimed that the court imposed a sentence to satisfy the community and Kayser, who earlier claimed that he suffered from short-term memory loss following the incident.
Lungisa also claimed that Cannon attached insufficient weight to his personal circumstances, that he was a first-time offender and financially cared for a large family, which included his wife, seven children, as well as his parents and siblings.
Lungisa said that he had on previous occasions approached Kayser to apologise.
“I testified in respect of sentence and in open court rendered my apology to [Kayser], which in my culture is an important part of the restoration. The magistrate disregarded this completely.”
Lungisa said the court also failed to take into account that he was not a threat to society.
He said Cannon rejected the option of correctional supervision and erred by underestimating the value of such a sentence.
Lungisa said that the correctness of his conviction and sentence were arguable and that there was a reasonable prospect of success, in that another court may come to a different finding.