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Banana Republic Tendencies – Zambia ‘manhandles’ Maimane, refuses him entry

Flag map of Zambia

I’d love to be proved wrong, but I’m certain that the ANC’s deep historic links with Zambia during the struggle years have everything to do with Zambian police preventing DA Leader Mmusi Maimane from entering the country yesterday. Here’s what I know. Jacob Zuma was the liberation movements’ intelligence chief. Thabo Mbeki, Pallo Jordan and much of the leadership-in-exile, spent years in Lusaka where South African journalists, including myself, used to regularly phone them for comment on the NP government’s latest moves. Just about every schlenter of Zuma’s bid to consolidate power and side-step prosecution since he’s been president is informed by the astute use of the skill-set he acquired in exile. Regional intelligence sharing is an accepted practice, but in this case, it’s abusive and instant because of the history, and the Zambian government (or its spooks, the two not always working together), have shown their true colours. History counts, and when one pesky opposition leader supports another (read below), hell’s teeth, stopping them via the courts or from physically entering the country, is a no-brainer. – Chris Bateman

Johannesburg – DA leader Mmusi Maimane was deported to South Africa, for reasons unknown, when he landed in Zambia, his spokesperson Graham Charters said on Thursday night.

Charters said when Maimane arrived at the Lusaka Airport at around 18:30 on Thursday evening, there were members of the police and immigration police already waiting for him on the tarmac on the runway.

Leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

“They stormed the plane. Then things got a bit physical when they tried to remove Mr Maimane from the plane. When Mr Maimane tried to reach for his phone, his phone was confiscated by the legal authorities.”

Charters said there was a stalemate between Maimane and authorities for about half an hour, while Maimane demanded to know why he was not allowed into the country.

“He was then ordered to take the next flight back to South Africa.”

Charters said the authorities did not give any reason for the ill-treatment “and the blocking of a constitutional office bearer, of a fellow African state”.

“At a time where Africa needs to be moving towards a maturing democracy, and upholding the values of the rule of law, we can see that many of our African brothers and sisters are still subject to the regime of big-man politics,” Charters said as the incident happened and the country celebrated Africa Day.

“He was not harmed but he was certainly shaken. There was a scuffle to get his phone but he was not physically harmed.”

Charters said Maimane had been deported back to South Africa and has landed.

“We call on the South African government to take immediate action against such apartheid like actions by the Zambian government,” he said.

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