Mathews Phosa is the former ANC’s national treasurer and former premier of Mpumalanga. File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Mbombela - African National Congress (ANC) presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa on Friday, urged the police to intensify their investigation into the bomb threat allegedly made to the offices of a law practice in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, where he is a partner.

Phosa told the African News Agency (ANA) that the threat was made through phone calls to the offices of Du Toit-Smuts & Mathews Phosa Attorneys on Friday morning. He said the threat left the staff shaken and disrupted business operations.

“This threat comes two days after we launched a successful campaign for the ANC’s elective conference in this province. It is a criminal act and the police must go deep into this through their investigation. But if there is also a battle of ideas, let hold discussions, not use violence,” said Phosa.

Phosa is the former ANC’s national treasurer and former premier of Mpumalanga. 

He said that nothing would stop him from campaigning for the presidential position at the ANC's elective conference in December. 

Mpumalanga police spokesman Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe said that the receptionist area of the company received four calls in succession at around 10am, stating that there was a bomb in the building.

“The police were called and all relevant role players activated,” said Bhembe.

“The search for the bomb is unfolding, with the area and the street in front of the building cordoned off. And motorists are diverted to use alternative route.”

Bhembe later said that the scene was declared safe at around 1.20pm after the threat turned out to be a hoax.

“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 did not immediately say if a case was opened for investigation.