SA trade union boss deported over Zimbabwean links

Mr Zenzo Mahlangu

Mr Zenzo Mahlangu

Cynthia Dube, Chronicle Reporter
South African Transport and Allied Workers` Union (Satawu) boss who is suspected to be a Zimbabwean has been deported after Home Affairs discovered that he was living in the country illegally.

According to media in that country, the general Secretary Mr Zenzo Mahlangu was arrested on Thursday and deported on Friday when the department of Home affairs discovered that he was in possession of a South African identity document that identified him as a South African citizen by birth while he is actually a Zimbabwean.

According to South African media, Home affairs acting spokesperson David Hlabane confirmed the deportation of Mr Mahlangu who is also a member of the African National Congress (ANC) party.

“He was deported on the same day. He chose not to exercise his right to challenge the deportation, but opted to buy his own flight ticket and depart immediately instead of being deported through Lindela Repatriation Centre,” said Mr Hlabane.

He said the department was not in a position to know if anyone being investigated was a high-profile person because all reported cases were afforded the same attention, irrespective of the social status and standing of an individual

He added: “Home affairs received information that Mr Mahlangu was in possession of a South African identity document that identified him as a South African citizen by birth, while he is actually a Zimbabwean national. The matter was investigated and it was found that he had acquired the South African identity document through misrepresentation.”

A comment, according to news24, could not be obtained as Mr Mahlangu did not respond to text messages and his cell phone was on voice mail.According to the publication, National Transport Movement general secretary Ephraim Mphahlele said they had not peddled any information about Mahlangu’s nationality.

Mr Mphahlele said there had always been concerns that Mahlangu could not speak the South African version of isiNdebele and it was suspected his name was not, in fact, Zenzo Mahlangu.

Recently, Mahlangu broke ranks with Cosatu saying that Satawu would not endorse Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the next ANC leader because Treasury, the SA Reserve Bank and the Constitution have constrained the ANC’s ability to transform the economy. Public sector unions are largely in favour of Ramaphosa.

Mahlangu said individuals in the upcoming battle for ruling party leadership did not matter. What mattered was whether the ANC shifted its policy trajectory to usher in an era of economic freedom. Mahlangu led a troubled industrial union, which has been through two splits since 2012.

The union has endured the acquittal of Mahlangu on a charge of abusing union funds, the resignations and expulsions of senior officials and the assassination of its Gauteng leader, Chris Nkosi, for which no one has been arrested to date.


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  • wordfanece

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  • QB

    This guy new very well that he is a beggar in a foreign land. He should have kept his mouth shut and remain loyal to authorities, it could have worked for him. Obvious his comments on ANC leadership raised peoples eye brows. Everyone was keen to know who is talking

    • The Silent Observer

      This will be the fate of many Zimbabweans who are currently claiming to be South African Citizens by Birth. It just shows how important not to forsake your Motherland like what Most People from the Matebeleland Region have done once they set Foot in South Africa! Remember the Business Tycoon? Now the Trade Unionist and more are coming!

      • vusumuzi

        and many more have come and gone. So is the life of a refugee , but what is wrong here . Would anything be wrong if Rhodesian whites returned to Britain , claiming they were British?????. There are more Shonas in RSA today, legally and illegally , more than ever before and their numbers , because of their population size , can even surpass that of Ndebeles . Thats the migration and Refugee crisis the world over, and what are you gloating about . Your comment smacks of Tribalism. Have you ever silently obeserved and commented about the Majority Shona leadership which has messed up Zimbabwe to propel all tribes in Zimbabwe to be now found in RSA?You are good at poking fun at your fellow country men , leaving the reasons for the migration unmentioned. Right now there is no cash, and instead of saying tough luck to Zenzo, you are laughing at him because he is going to join you and the rest in sleeping at bank queues!!!!!.

        • Doctor Do little

          I don’t think I will call this tribal only. Just pure ignorance by someone that has no clue about what is going on around him. Zimbabweans are full all over the world illegal and legal. Most of them are from Mashonaland. In the united Kingdom there are many there. Canada, United States, Zambia even in Liberia we have former Railway people working on the Liberian Railways. They all have one thing in common. They are trying to support their families because in Zimbabwe there a not enough jobs if any to go around. This is a country where the nearest thing to welfare is foreign aid and where when available is controlled by Politicians who dish it out on Party lines. A silly view by a silly man.

          • Royal Mthwakazi

            The problem with some Shonas who criticise the Ndebele this way is that of double speak. They will gloat about the majority Shona numbers and their dominance in Zim; yet when it suits them they start talking about the Ndebele and the Shona as if they are of equal numbers in population; especially if it is over negative things. The truth of the matter is this; owing to their majority numbers in Zim, the majority of Zimbabweans in South Africa and indeed everywhere in the world are Shonas and there is no debate about this. Not all of them are legal in South Africa!!

      • Mkhusto

        “Most people from matebeleland” really. Kudala yebo kodwa khathesi isizwe sempumalanga has taken over and they are bossy with their language and English.
        Umfowethu laye usuke waphapha ngabe udle ethule nje kuphela.

        • QB

          Shuwa ngabe wale ngokutshova abomdeni phambili

          • mfuqe aye kibo

            Well, said he is not Mahlangu. Unfortunatey you have not mentioned that he is a northener, and so to say he could not speak Ndebele/zulu properly. from his roles in SA, he realy is umuntu wamathumbu agcwala isixaxa. Actualy bekuliphimpi ebelimele izindaba, manje ikaravosi yakhala

        • Royal Mthwakazi

          Tshonas are obessed with the Ndebele and South Africa. Its a disease they all grow up with. They will exaggerate everything. Dont mind them!!

  • Ndabezitha

    Dlana mfoe nxa kudleka. Uxotshwe edlile. Kuhle nxa ebethumela imali esakha ngapha kibo.

    • Royal Mthwakazi

      Inkinga yami ngabantu bakithi kwaMthwakazi is this tendency of pretending to be South African and getting lost down there; whilst not investing back home kwaMthwakazi. We are Mthwakazi, not South Africans or Zulus lets stop with tis pretence. This is why Zulus dont respect us, like they respect Swazis, Basotho or Xhosa etc. We need to be proud of our Mthwakazi identity; siyeke ukuklayima. The only thing we should seek from the Zulus is cultural identity, so we dont get diluted by the Shonaism of Zimbabwe. Invest back home – buy property so that we occupy our space in Mthwakazi. You cannot run away and pretend to be Zulu in SA; forget about back home. When the Shona move into Mthwakazi; you cry foul!!

  • Cde Male Goat

    Its an endemic problem that seems to only found in our Ma|Ndex brothers. They think that they are South African as soon as they cross the border. The moral of this story is be proud of who you are because people will not accept you for who you are not.

    • Royal Mthwakazi

      This is tribalistic nonsense. Was Tich Mataz Ndebele? He claimed and pretended to be South African; even spoke Zulu. He was all over the place, showing off his houses and cars – yet he had an obviously strange name and surname that was not South African. He had a false ID.

      There are thousands of Shonas in South Africa who pretend to be Venda, yet they cant say a word of Venda. Some have SA IDs with SA names and surnames yet cant say a word of Zulu or Xhosa. Morris Nyagumbo, the late Minister worked in Cape Town as a waiter using a Xhosa name and surname and he was Shona.

      You Shonas are so obsessed with Ndebele people; I dont know why. You love pointing fingers to our people; over the same things that you are equally guilty of. Its very stupid of you really – silly!!

    • mthwakazi ka ndaba

      my friend you must brew your mind before exposing your idiomatic mind to the world. ndebeles are zulu if dont know history.

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  • Tonde

    I saw a zimbabwean at the north pole with my own eyes. Holding fast to the North pole flag. He said that he was a Zimbabwean Eskimo and nobody gave a sh*^ Whats wrong with the South Africans now? What I don’t like with this story is this depotee is one more Zimbabwean domestictated to increase the men standing in front of me at the Bank que. I dont like anyone messing up with my bond notes and bond coins.

    • Sonde

      I once saw a zimbabwean in Nepal! We are just every where!

  • Dunderhead

    He bought a ticket to Malawi.

  • Cetshwayo

    Sad story mfoka Mahlangu, it is important to speak a South African language when in South Africa, he should have known that IsiNdebele saseMpumalanga asifani lesiNdebele saseZim. He should at least have learnt isiZulu and claim to be Zulu ngoba kucishe kufane. Anyway, that’s how things work in SA if u start talking too much u get investigated, they will embarrass you. Its sad that we as Ndebeles we can’t stay in our own country because the Shona people are taking over even our Matebeleland and Mugabe paved the way for this invasion through his Gukurahundi. How then can we be proud of being Zimbabwean when all opportunities are given to Shonas at the expense of Ndebeles and other minorities right in Matebeleland. We only have one option to survive in other countries such as SA. Those who are able to get SA IDs I urge them to do so and be able to live normal lives.

    • Royal Mthwakazi

      YisiNdebele sakwa Mthwakazi; hayi eseZim. E Zim yisiShona!!

  • Essexvale

    The ANC in SA is currently witch hunting persons that it considers as drivers in the “Zuma Must Go” move. I suspect that Mahlangu has been caught In in the fray. Don’t get me wrong; I come out in full support of a united ANC under President Zuma. My beef however is the apparent selective manner in which the witch hunt is being conducted. If attention is being given to foreign nationals who conducting activities adverse to SA’s well-being, it’s important that the net must be cast wider. SA is crawling with spooks and “deserters” from the Zim security forces who went there during Thabo Mbeki’s presidency. Evidently, such persons don’t have SA’s welfare at heart. They become cannon fodder for the current anti ANC-Zuma campaign. In my opinion, if Mahlangu goes, so should these people and Zimbabean Gabriel Shumba who runs a Johannesburg NGO that selectively defends Zim immigrants in SA by favouring persons from roughly the eastern half of the nation.

    • vusumuzi

      Let South Africans sort out their problems , in their own way. If they need any foreign advice, they will say so. Stop yap yapping about RSA, lets yap about how we mobilize to remove the Satan in our midst, who has caused migration of the sons of the soil. Cast the net wider here, to remove Mr Bond Note, Mgabe, uyeke indaba zakomakhelwane.Yes, Gabriel Shumba is fighting for Zimbabweans for them to have ‘rights”in foreign land. He and Co voted this evil we have since 1980, then fled. He should lead the exodus of the majority tribe back home to remove what they put in power.Thats what you get when you get to be in “bed” with abasempumalanga.

      • Essexvale

        You might be aware from my usual comments in this forum that I am in the forefront with the best in the struggle for self determination in the region. And you probably misunderstood the gist of my contribution concerning the story. My comment is made in the context of my take on the deportation of Mahlanga ,while offering related advice. Hope this will assist in providing you with assurance.