Minister in tears at funeral

2009-09-03 14:49

  • Home Invasion
    Over 18 000 house robberies are committed in South Africa every year and police attempts to stop it... Now R165.00
    buy now
Durban - Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma burst into tears when she heard the contents of the suicide note left by a KwaZulu-Natal man who hanged himself after failing to get an ID document.

"What makes me unhappy about this is that my department is supposed to make lives easier for people," said Dlamini-Zuma during Sikhumbuzo Mhlongo’s funeral in Nqetho outside Hillcrest on Thursday.

Mhlongo hanged himself last week.

In a letter, he explained that a Pinetown home affairs official tore up his application for an identity document, effectively preventing him from getting a job.

According to the suicide note read during the funeral service, Mhlongo was informed by home affairs officials in Pinetown that he could not get an ID because he was not accompanied by his parents when he made the application.

His parents died when he was still young.

'I prefer to die than go to jail'

"I have persevered too long. I have lost my job because my ID application was turned down. It hurts to see my friends going to work," Mhlongo wrote in the suicide note.

The note also stated that Mhlongo had decided to hang himself because he did not want to become a criminal as he could not get a job without an ID.

"I don’t want to steal. I prefer to die than to go to jail."

Dlamini-Zuma said Mhlongo’s death was to be a turning point for her department, which she said needed a clean-up.

"There are so many young people who steal and kill but Mhlongo decided not to do it. This shows that we still have good young people out there who do not steal even if they struggle in life," she said.

Dlamini-Zuma vowed to make sure that no one else would commit suicide because of the problems they encountered when applying for IDs.

"We want to assure the people of South Africa that things will be sorted out in our department and we will start at the Pinetown office."

Two suspended

She said two people suspected of having ill treated Mhlongo had been suspended at the Home Affairs Pinetown office.

Former home affairs minister and Inkatha Freedom party leader Mangosuthu Buthulezi and the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development Meshack Hadebe were among those who attended the funeral service, held in a small sports ground.

Buthelezi did not speak during the event.

Hadebe said he was saddened that Mhlongo’s relatives had allegedly received threats from home affairs officials from the Pinetown office who demanded to know who had accompanied the deceased when he made an ID application.

He said a case of intimidation had been opened.

It was announced during the funeral that Mhlongo’s sisters would get a house from government. The orphans had been renting a house in Nqetho.


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.