SA deportees protest

THE two South African nationals Jan Paxton and Basil Pietersen who were deported last week by the Immigration Department have described their deportation as inhuman, embarrassing and an abuse of the law.

But the Immigration Department has said the deportation of the duo was regular and within the law because the two South African had become inimical to the welfare of the State.

Home Affairs deputy Minister Steven Kampyongo said he could not comment on the matter as he had been out of office the last two weeks.

Armcor Security Limited managing director Jan Paxtson said he loved Zambia and that Zambia was his second home but was saddened by his deportation which has left him wondering what wrong he could have committed against the Zambian people.

Mr. Paxtson said it was sad that some senior government officials were allegedly on the payroll of his enemies who were on a crusade to malign and scandalize him for protecting the interest of many Zambians who were employed by Armcor.

In a letter dated 10th September, 2014 and addressed to their law firm Ellis and Company, Jan Paxtson, one of the directors arrested and secretly deported on unspecified grounds, said the deportation was irregularly done as it was coated with malice and vindictiveness from the start.

Mr Paxtson told the Daily Nation in a telephone interview from South Africa that he was taken to the Immigration office together with Basil Pietersen without any charge and had not been given the reasons for his deportation.

He explained that the government officials treated them like common criminals as the Immigrations officers could not explain their arrest and what charges they were facing to warrant such inhuman treatment.

The duo were picked from the Zambia Revenue Authority offices where they were giving a statement over investigations involving another security  firm.

“I was put in the car and we departed from ZRA offices at approximately 16:40 hours. We were first taken to the Central Police where the Immigration officers wanted the Zambia Police to detain us over night.

As some of our office colleagues were there for assistance, I was informed that Central Police refused to detain us overnight due to the fact that the Immigration officers were unable to provide them with the charges against us,” Paxtson explained.

He said that when Armcor Security company lawyer Likando Kalaluka confronted one of the Immigration officers identified as Killian Lwindi asking about the charges, he informed the lawyer that he was just following instructions.

Mr Lwindi when contacted refused to comment on the matter and referred all queries to the Immigration director-general Moola Milimo who confirmed to the Daily Nation that the two South Africans were deported.

“The deportation was executed by the immigration officers and it is not true that the two South Africans were deported irregularly.

We have since revoked their work permits because they were inimical to the State,” Mr Miliomo said.

Asked whether the deportation was orchestrated by a cartel of government officials in connivance with a business competitor of Amcor company, Mr Milimo said he did not know Mr Patel and that as the department, they could not be used to settle scores.

The deported South Africans however explained that after realizing the victimization, harassment and the criminal abuse they were subjected to, they decided to engage the South African High Commission in Zambia for assistance to ascertain why they were being detained.

“But despite their (South Africa High Commission) efforts, no one was able to explain to the High Commission why we were being arrested and deported,” he said.

He said they were later booked in at Ridgeway police post about 19:30 hours for an overnight detention but shockingly, the same officers returned about 01:30 to transport them to Ndola without any charge where they were later deported at 14:00 hours.

“They (Immigration officers) visited the police post numerous times to ensure that we were still detained. About 15 minutes after midnight police officers came into the police cells and called my name and Basil and ordered us to put on shoes and belts.

We were ordered to leave with a Mr. Chiko and when we asked where that time of the night, we were told to shut up. But when we reached outside, we found the same Immigration officers among them Mr. Lwindi were waiting for us,” he said.

Mr. Paxtson explained that he insisted to know where they were being transported to before one of the officers responded, “Mr. Paxtson you know the drill, just get your lawyers to bring you back once your name is cleared.”

“This is the waste deportation I have undergone.

It is different from the one I experienced in 2013. I have been a law abiding national, I am not a threat to national security, I am a simple and humble man.

I love Zambia and my friends in Zambia, Zambia is my second home. I was scrutinized by all the security wings before a work permit was issued. I renewed it this year in July and I believe, what I am going through is just a setback,” said Mr. Paxtson.