Satawu leader was in SA illegally

FILE: The embattled union's leader was in South Africa illegally. Photo: AFP/RODGER BOSCH

JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs has presented evidence, proving Satawu leader, Zenzo Mahlangu, was in South Africa illegally, and was deported to Zimbabwe last month.

Home Affairs Director General, Mkuseli Apleni, has now produced that proof.

"...the Zimbabwean embassy issued this temporary travel document for Mr Mahlangu, because you can't fly out of the airport without a travel document. And no country can issue for someone who is not their citizen," he said. "So that was the first thing which we got from the Zimbabwean government. "

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Satawu whistleblowers reveal murder, corruption

Mahlangu had made an impassioned plea not to be deported through the Lindela Repatriation Centre.

Home Affairs then allowed him to purchase his own plane ticket, to fly out of OR Tambo International Airport.

Mahlangu was escorted by immigration officials to ensure he left the country.

Apleni reiterates, if Mahlangu is found in South Africa, within the next five years, he will be arrested.

WATCH: Satawu struggles with financial crisis

Former Satawu president, Ephraim Mphahlele, says there's always been a cloud over Mahlangu’s citizenship. He says that as a result of investigations he undertook into the matter, people began targeting him. When he discovered assassins had allegedly been hired, he tendered his resignation with the transport union.

Satawu's umbrella body, Cosatu, says if Mahlangu is proven to have obtained South African citizenship fraudulently, he must be jailed.

READ: Satawu plunges into crisis

Last month Cosatu spokesperson, Sizwe Pamla told eNCA: "If we can be presented with proof and then of course that's fraud. That's criminality and it has to be treated in a manner that all criminal cases are."

Pamla says talks between Satawu and Cosatu leaders are ongoing, to find a resolution to the crises the transport union currently faces.

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