It’s a lie that I was involved in bid to stage a coup d’etat, says Andile Lungisa

Andile Lungisa, former ANCYL deputy president, says he was supportive of protests against ‘the unjust arrest of [former] president Jacob Zuma but I never advocated for any violence’. File photo.
Picture: Eugene Coetzee
Former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) deputy president Andile Lungisa says he was interrogated for allegedly “assembling an arsenal” for the purposes of overthrowing the state.

According to Lungisa, officials who identified themselves as intelligence officials and Hawks officers from “national office” arrived at his Gqeberha home on Monday to interrogate him “for my role in the supposed ‘coup’/‘insurrection’ attempt”.

Lungisa said this characterisation of the unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal last week was “reckless”.

He said: “In the interrogation by the organs of the state, I was accused of having assembled an arsenal for the purpose of overthrowing the state.

“This is, of course, an outright lie. Not only is this allegation baseless, I have never handled a weapon in my life.”

Lungisa said his interrogators moved to the next accusation he was facing, which was that he had contravened Covid-19 lockdown regulations regarding public gatherings.

“The last charge was that I opposed [former] president Jacob Zuma’s arrest. On the last charge I am in good company with the minority judgment of the Constitutional Court,” said Lungisa.

“I offered the interrogating officers my phone to download whatever information could assist them in their investigation. They declined. I did so with a clean conscience of knowing I was not party to any coup attempt.

“I was supportive of the protests against the unjust arrest of [former] president Zuma but I never advocated for any violence.”

Lungisa said he was officially charged on Tuesday for contravention of lockdown regulations and given a court appearance date for this Friday.

The police were not immediately available for comment.

The government has consistently spoken about 12 individuals suspected to have been the instigators behind last week’s violence and looting. It is not clear whether Lungisa is among them.

By Mawande AmaShabalala – TimesLIVE 

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