Paul Sikazwe appears in court

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A Zambian National held in Durban on allegation of causing alarm, panic and a contravention of the Terror Act, has appeared in a magistrate court in Durban.
However prosecution were not ready and have not yet preferred any charge on the suspect.
Paul Sikazwe appeared in court at 09hrs and later 14hrs.
Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba confirmed and stated that Paul would return to court on Thursday.
Mwamba also stated that because Paul has no previous criminal record and that after a search, Paul’s claim that he had uttered the alleged words as a joke had merit as nothing was found on him when he was searched.
The Mission believes that Paul had probably uttered words that he meant as a joke and that authorities could therefore release him.
Mwamba said that it was recognised that the alleged words were serious and fell in the realm of a criminal act, but strongly hoped that Police could use their discretion to let Paul free.
On Saturday Mwamba stated that: “We have spoken to Paul Sikazwe and to the Detective who is investigating the matter”.
“Paul and his business friends arrived in South Africa last week and were in Durban to buy motor vehicles (friends and his business colleagues can confirm this)”.
“After they were done with the business, they put the vehicles on trucks as is required for vehicles manufactured outside South Africa”.
“On Friday they went to catch a flight to Zambia through King Shaka International Airport in Durban. They were in a jovial mood and joking after a succesful trip”.
At checkpoint, he was asked an innocent and procedural question by a lady manning the security check point: “What’s in the bag?”
“Paul is alleged to have responded with a joke: ” It’s a bomb!”
Offcourse after 9/11 Bombings in Newyork in 2001, security levels and sensitivities around airports have been increased..any weapon, knife, stick, gun or bomb is not allowed…even the slight mention of such weapons that might raise suspicion on the safety of passengers and a plane are taken seriously.
The Security lady that attended to him immediately raised alarm and an anti terror security threat was deployed.
Paul apologised profusely and insisted that he didn’t carry any weapon and that it’s was just a Joke he was cracking. He demonstrated by unpacking his bag to show that he truly was carrying nothing.
However South African Police arrived on the scene. They deployed sniffer dogs on his bags and luckily but as expected, found nothing.
However he was picked and has been detained for causing alarm and he is being held at Tongati Police Station near the King Shaka International Airport in Durban.
Our appeal to all Zambians travelling abroad is that kindly do not joke, or make fun of, or make funny claims, about guns and bombs at Airports in light of the terrorism threat the world lives in.
I know many people have watched a video of a “Muslim” – Jalals making a prank of a bomb by dropping a suspected parcel on passers-by. You have seen how people scamper even jumping on escalator the wrong way or jumping in water.
That’s a mindset of all of us about guns and bombs.
We are working closely with head of ZASA Ferdinand Simanya and our colleagues from the Zambia South Africa Association (ZASA) in Durban.
Paul Sikazwe is expected to appear in Court Monday .
We will be there.

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