Fraud case is a witch-hunt: Lungisa

OUT IN THE COLD: Andile Lungisa. PHOTO: PEGGY NKOMO
OUT IN THE COLD: Andile Lungisa. PHOTO: PEGGY NKOMO

The fraud and money laundering case against former National Youth Development Agency boss Andile Lungisa and three others is a witch hunt against them, he said on Friday.

"It is a witch hunt [but] we are respecting the court process. You will hear the truth on the 30th [of January]," he told reporters after his appearance in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

The matter was postponed to January 30 as the State only received representations on the matter on Friday.

Lungisa said he disliked being branded a thief.

"When I was young I never stole a cent. I don't like being branded as a person who steals money," he said.

"I have hosted the biggest festival in the country in 2010 that some refer to as the 'kissing festival'."

The World Federation of Democratic Youth Festival cost the NYDA over R100 million.

Lungisa said he would attend the next festival, to be hosted by Ecuador, in December.

It was unclear whether the court had given him permission to travel outside the country as the group had handed in their passports as part of their bail conditions.

Lungisa said he would also be going back to the Eastern Cape to campaign for the African National Congress in preparation for the 2014 general elections.

"I am going back to my region in Port Elizabeth. I will be campaigning to make sure young people vote for the ANC," he said.

Lungisa and his co-accused, his wife Ursula Sali, Xolisile Guquza, and Thabo Shogolo, appeared briefly in the court.

The four allegedly accepted and shared among themselves R2.5m paid by the arts and culture department for the Nelson Mandela Sports Day concert. They allegedly promised that US singer R Kelly would perform at the concert, but he did not.

They were arrested after handing themselves over to the Hawks.

Lungisa and Shogolo were granted bail of R10,000 each, Guquza was granted bail of R5000, and Sali was released on a warning.

Lungisa has since asked to be relieved of his political duties as an ANC Eastern Cape executive committee member while he deals with the charges against him.

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