The exact reasons why the astute Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says after meeting Zambian High Commissioner Emmanuel Neamba he firmly believes that his deportation from that country was politically motivated.

Maimane met with the diplomat at the Zambian High Commission on Friday morning, less than 24 hours after being turned away from Kenneth Kaunda international airport. Heavily armed immigration officers prevented Maimane and his team from disembarking and their passports and cellphones were confiscated.

Maimane says the incident shows that Zambia’s democracy is falling apart.

He had travelled to Zambia to support opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema who was arrested six weeks ago on treason charges, which are believed to be trumped up.

“That goes first of all to assault the sovereignty of our country and it undermines the integrity of our rule of law and especially the judiciary.”