Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane faced contempt of court charges in Zambia and immigration officials did him a favour by barring his entrance to the country, says the leading party of Zambia the Patriotic Front’s Facebook page, before publishing a comment on their official page titled ‘Pro apartheid politician hits Zambia brick wall’ which calls Maimane a puppet of white capital intent on destabilising their country.
Maimane was outside the Zambian Embassy in Pretoria attempting to lobby support this morning after he was unceremoniously booted from the country yesterday. He allegedly faced resistance from within the crowd gathered as PF supporters sympathetic to leader Edgar Lunga are also in attendance . The Zambian ruling party believes that Maimane was undermining that country’s democratic institutions. The High Commission of Zambia responded to the visit a few moments ago (video below).
“Maimane’s intention was to come and cause confusion, stir anarchy and disregard Zambia’s rule of law, this country can not be tolerated and we applaud the junior immigration officers who took a lead role and insured he was not granted access. We do believe and trust our judiciary and we question why bodies such as Law Association of Zambia are remaining mute on this matter because the DA leader has ridiculed the intergrity of the Zambian judiciary,” a comment on the official Facebook page belonging to the Patriotic Front read.
The comment piece shared by the Patriotic Front did not mince its words about how the author sees the DA. “The DA is known for its support towards apartheid; Apartheid a system of institutionalised racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa. Past leaders of the DA supported apartheid and the current leader Maimane has not denounced that stance, meaning he too supports this regime that destabilized alot of African countries. It has come to our attention that there is a group being led by Anglo America that is working tirelessly with some African political party leaders to restore apartheid. A group of capitalists with a plain selfish drives but that is all for another day,” the comment published on its official Facebook account read.
Full comment below:
However, the resistance to Maimane’s entrance into Zambia appears to run deeper than the mere insensitivity of his involvement in another country’s matters.
Following a statement issued on Thursday by the DA that they will allegedly pressure the Courts to release Hakainde Hichilema, state prosecutors found Maimane’s statements contemptuous and criminal, another post on the official Patriotic Front Facebook page read.
“The immigration have done him a favour. He was going to face contempt charges in the morning. We were going to apply that his passport be withheld until such a time that the contempt charges were disposed off,” the statement read. “His consistent comments that ‘we want to pressure the Courts to release Hakainde Hichilema’ is highly contemptuous. Our Courts can not be pressured even by the President. The State had already applied for contempt. He wasn’t going to leave Zambia for a long time, a source close to the treason trial said,” read the post.
Maimane has caused an international relations crisis with his uninvited trip to Zambia.
Earlier, the Patriotic Front announced that “Zambians in South Africa have mobilised themselves to support President Edgar Lungu and his quest to promote the rule of law while United Party for National Development (UPND) supported by the Democratic Alliance are also at the ZambianEmbassy. The international media is also present.”
At that gathering Maimane said: “The Republic of Zambia is a regional partner of the Republic of South Africa and their treatment today of our country’s Leader of the Opposition flies in the face of these relations. However, this matter does not stop here.
“We have been in touch with the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, and we have asked that they seek in writing a full explanation and reasons from the Zambian government for denying lawful access to the country, and for the belligerent treatment I received. We have been greatly encouraged by the feedback we have received from DIRCO thus far.”
The Zambian High Commission clarified that country’s stance on what happened with Maimane.
Watch the video here:
Zambian High Commissioner in Pretoria Emmanuel Mwamba on Friday said Maimane was told earlier this week to postpone his visit to Lusaka.
“On Tuesday, Mr Maimane’s office got in touch with us and informed us that he will be travelling to Zambia on Thursday. When we contacted Lusaka, especially about the details of Mr Maimane’ visit, we were advised that Mr Maimane should reschedule his visit,” Mwamba said as he addressed journalists in Pretoria.
“His visit was to go and visit his colleague [Hakainde Hichilema leader of largest Zambian opposition United Party for National Development UPNP] in solidarity and we found nothing wrong with that. But we advised him that there were concerns over his statements and utterances especially regarding the sanctity of our courts.”
Mwamba said Maimane had also been advised to get permission from Zambian courts “because there is a list which the courts approve, of people who can see Mr Hichilema.”
The envoy said Lusaka would determine who is allowed permission into the country.
“Zambia as a sovereign state can determine persons to be allowed entry into our country and that is not in dispute. We however wish to affirm that Zambia continues to have mutual and admirable diplomatic relations with South Africa based on the historical economic and social ties between the two countries,” said Mwamba.
Maimane had earlier on Friday described how he and his colleagues were manhandled, had their cellphones and iPads confiscated by Zambian authorities. They were prevented from disembarking from the aeroplane in Lusaka before they were forced to leave that country.
Zambians of different political persuasions squared off outside the Zambian embassy in Pretoria on Friday.
Excerpts from that statement read: