South Africa


Will assault case jeopardise Andile Lili’s plans of becoming Western Cape ANC chair?

Will assault case jeopardise Andile Lili’s plans of becoming Western Cape ANC chair?
Andile Lili outside the Western Cape High Court on 14 October 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Nardus Engelbrecht)

Charged with assaulting a primary school principal, controversial ANC Western Cape provincial legislature member Andile Lili is set to appear in the Khayelitsha Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The alleged assault occurred on 21 November and a case was filed at the Harare Police Station in Khayelitsha. It is alleged that Lili assaulted a school principal. He denies the charge.

Declining to name the suspect, police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said Harare police had arrested a 47-year-old man on charges of assault. Swartbooi said: “The suspect has been summoned to court on Tuesday (29 November). The circumstances of this incident are still being investigated.”

On Monday, Daily Maverick phoned Lili, who denied the allegations.

“No one was assaulted. If you can speak to someone at the primary school, then you will get a different version than the one you got.”

He said he would go to court to defend himself.

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“People are crazy … They can say a lot about you. So, I don’t mind those who are trying to discredit my name. The allegation was done deliberately to derail my political career by these people who are perpetuating these rogue notions.”

Lili said if nominated for the position of Western Cape ANC chairperson, he would accept. However, the latest allegations have jeopardised his political plans.

The ANC’s Cameron Dugmore and interim provincial committee (IPC) coordinator Lerumo Kalako are also expected to run for provincial leadership.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Deputy Speaker abruptly ends Western Cape legislature sitting after heckling and interruptions

In May, Lili was convicted on two counts of violating the Illegal Gatherings Act and inciting members of the Ses’khona People’s Rights movement to kill rapists.

In terms of the ANC step-aside rule, the party requires members charged with corruption or other serious crimes to voluntarily step aside from party or government activities or face suspension.

The provincial working committee has referred the May verdict to the ANC’s Integrity Commission for Lili to subject himself to that process and for “a report to be tabled before the IPC for a final decision on the matter on an urgent basis”.

On whether Lili should adhere to the step-aside rule, Kalako said: “The ANC is not aware of the alleged assault incident. At this point, it is only an allegation. A decision will be made once he has been charged, and depending on the nature of the charge.”

Kalako also said the Integrity Commission had not yet issued a report on Lili’s conviction in the Bellville Magistrates’ Court earlier this year. DM


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