African National Congress (ANC) presidential hopeful, Mathews Phosa has called on the police to act immediately and unravel the truth following bomb threats for the offices of a law practice in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
Phosa raised the alarm in his capacity as a partner to the Mbombela law office, which received four anonymous calls, claiming there was a bomb on their premises.
As gathered, the offices of Du Toit-Smuts & Mathews Phosa Attorneys received the threats through phone calls on Friday morning around 10:00 am, leaving staff ill at ease and disturbed.
Reacting, the former ANC’s national treasurer and former premier of Mpumalanga, described the threats as a “desperate measures by desperate corrupt murderous hooligans” to derail his presidential campaign.
Phosa pointed out that the threat came two days after his team successfully launched his presidential campaign in Mpumalanga province, revealing that Friday’s threats were the latest, having received similar threats.
“This is the third incident. We’ve received similar threats. There has been a lot of violence in Mpumalanga and it worries me.
This is an outrageous threat to human life. It comes two days after our successful launch of our campaign in the heart of Mpumalanga.
The police must go deep into this matter. Why must poor workers be threatened? This is clearly political and it is sick. Why do they fear from our campaign? But if there is also a battle of ideas, let hold discussions, not use violence.”
Dr. Mathews, who apparently, looked unfazed by the incident, stated that he’ll continue to intensify and drum up support in the region, regardless of the threats.
“As a former commander, I am not intimidated. I will intensify my campaign in that province [Mpumalanga]. There won’t be a no-go area for me and my teams,” he added.
Meanwhile, we reliably gathered that the bomb threat later turned out to be a hoax. According to Mpumalanga police spokesman Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe, after a thorough search for the bomb, nothing dangerous was discovered.
The scene was subsequently declared safe at around 1.20pm on the same day at the end of the search.
“The bomb experts found a suspicious-looking parcel in a box at the scene, but it also turned to be an electric pressure cooker. The experts broke the cooker and analysed every part of it, but nothing dangerous was found,” Bhembe disclosed.
However, it’s still unclear if a case was opened for investigation or not.
Mathews Phosa has been trying to compete for a senior leadership position since 1997. At that year’s conference in Mafikeng, he tried unsuccessfully to run against Zuma for the position of deputy president.
He, however, made it to the top six in 2007 by joining the Zuma slate as treasurer general but the relationship could not stick.
In 2012, he lost the position of ANC deputy president again to Cyril Ramaphosa, who outsmarted him with an intimidating 2948 votes.
This time, Phosa would be contending for the party’s top post in the elective conference coming up in December. But many people don’t see him winning the post.