South African Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane of the Democratic Alliance (DA) claimed that his denial of entry into Zambia by the Zambian immigration was a violation of international law. Clearly, Maimane exposed some very worrying ignorance in the province of international law. We wish to provide him with a brief lecture on what international law holds over the events Maimane found himself in.
The true norm of international law was (and remains) that: ‘a state may legitimately exclude aliens only if, individually or collectively, they pose a serious danger to its public safety, security, general welfare or essential institutions.’
Maimane posed a serious danger on the judicial institution of our country as he had issued alarming and contemptuous statements to the effect that he would ‘gang-up’ with the opposition in Zambia to pressure the judiciary into releasing persons undergoing the due process of the law, in this regard Hakainde Hichilema. International law does not provide protection for such storm-brewing aliens. Any sovereign state will within its sovereignty legitimately shut its doors on such aliens.
In an American case of Nishimura Ekiu v United States, it was asserted that: ‘It is an accepted maxim of international law, that every sovereign nation has the power, as inherent in sovereignty, and essential to self-preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within its dominions, or to admit them only in such cases and upon such conditions as it may seek to prescribe.’
Further, in Chae Chan Ping v United States, it was stated that if a sovereign ‘could not exclude aliens it would be to that extent subject to the control of another power’.
It would therefore be politically and legally illegitimate for states or international law to ‘respect’ the ‘rights’ of those who are not supposed to be present within the dominion of a given State.
We therefore call on Maimane to cease misleading himself and the international community. His remarks of pressuring the Courts to release Hichilema bordered contempt of Court. Let him respect Zambia’s judiciary.
Issued By: Sunday Chanda
PF Director for Media