Maimane: Zambia misinterpreted my public statements

Zambia’s high commissioner accused the DA leader of threatening to put pressure on the judiciary, a statement Mmusi Maimane denies.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane outside the Zambian embassy with his supporters in Pretoria on 26 May 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – While The Zambian high commissioner Emmanuel Mwamba has accused Mmusi Maimane of dramatising his deportation from that country, the opposition leader says the government is misrepresenting his public statements.

Maimane met with Mwamba at his mission in Pretoria on Friday.

Maimane was stopped at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport last night where e he was manhandled by immigration officials and sent back to South Africa.

He had planned to attend the treason trial of Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema which started on Friday.

Mwamba says Maimane is not being entirely upfront with the public.

“Most the statements around what he is saying are not truthful. He has dramatised the entire matter. For example, he didn’t tell you that he has engaged our office for the last two days, he didn’t tell you that we had advised him to reschedule his visit.”

The high commissioner accused the opposition leader of threatening to put pressure on the judiciary, a statement the DA leader denies.

“You can read the statement we issued; nowhere have I said I would pressure the judiciary. I would never do it in South Africa, why would I do it in Zambia? They are basing their reports on the basis on newspapers. How can a government make a diplomatic decision on the basis of reading a newspaper?”

WATCH: Mmusi Maimane hits out after deportation from Zambia

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)