Sanco boss still in shock

Ntwaagae Seleka

Ntwaagae Seleka

Senior ANC member Mlungisi Hlongwane is still shocked by the revelation that a colleague might have sent death threats to him by cellphone.

Hlongwane, president of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), received three death-threat SMS messages on his cellphone in August.

Sanco's Eastern Cape provincial secretary, Mike Tofile, has been charged with planning to kill Hlongwane.

Tofile appeared briefly in the Vereeniging magistrates' court this week.

Hlongwane told Sowetan outside the court: "I didn't think that anyone in the organisation wanted to kill me. But I was shocked when it was alleged that Tofile was the one."

Hlongwane, who is also the mayor of Sedibeng, said that since receiving the death threats he had beefed up his personal security.

Hlongwane caused a stir in Sanco last year when he said he supported President Thabo Mbeki's group in the succession battle that is rocking the ANC.

Tofile, who applied for legal-aid representation, is expected to appear in the Vereeniging court again on March5.

Hlongwane said he was happy that he would find out the truth about the threats during the trial.

Tofile was accompanied to court by Sanco members from the Eastern Cape.

Hlongwane had backup from his wife Greta and from Vaal residents.

Hlongwane said that anyone who was threatened should not hesitate to inform the police.