Andile Lili, cleared of assault charges, is disappointed that the ANC, which swiftly took action against him when the allegations arose, has not reached out or welcomed him back following his acquittal.
The Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court acquitted Lili on common assault charges on Tuesday.
This was after he was accused of slapping the Enkanini Primary School principal on November 21 last year during an alleged argument.
Lili was part of the school’s school governing body (SGB) which has since been disbanded.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed that the the politician had been acquitted.
In February, the ANC in the Western Cape implemented a “step-aside” measure against Lili, preventing him from representing the party or participating in gatherings. The party stated that Lili would remain on step-aside until all legal proceedings against him had been concluded.
Despite anticipating communication from the ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC), Lili has not received any reaction to date. He maintains his innocence, asserting that the step-aside rule was unjustly applied for political reasons, preventing his participation in a conference.
“I have always maintained my innocence and that the step-aside rule was wrongly applied to me. This was just political so that I don’t participate in the conference. My enemies – both in the party and the DA – came together for my downfall because an accusation of gender-based violence is very serious,” Lili said.
“The courts have now vindicated me and I will leave no stone unturned because they have ruined my reputation, even if it means using my last cent. Never in my life have I assaulted a woman.
“The court found that there was not enough evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the principal was assaulted and there was no witness to support the accusation. Some who had lied that they did witness the incident withdrew their lies.
“I wrote to the party about the verdict, and nothing yet. Only the ANCYL has welcomed me back. I’m waiting to be reinstated and do my job. The sad part about this is that my ward has been divided into two groups. This is not good for a ward that was united, it is not good for the party,” Lili said.
ANC provincial spokesperson Khalid Sayed said they were waiting for ANC PEC officials to process the court outcome.
“The PEC is still processing the matter. Once they get the official correspondence about the issue and the outcome, then a decision will be taken and made known,” he said.
Meanwhile the ANCYL’s Dullah Omar Region said they welcomed the court outcome and knew Lili as an activist against GBV.
“It is noteworthy that Lili had respected and complied with the step-aside rule as adopted at the ANC 54th conference held at Nasrec. Since we are all busy embarking on the campaign against the scourge of GBV, our focus should be on ensuring that we wage a war against elements that perpetuate this pandemic,” said the youth league’s spokesperson, Sibusiso Zonke Zonke.