The South African government is to summon the Zambian High Commissioner in Pretoria to ask for an explanation as to why Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane was denied entry into Zambia on Thursday.

Maimane was held briefly at the airport in Lusaka before being told to return to home.

He had travelled there to attend the treason trial of opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema.

Department of International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela says they will also be taking diplomatic action in Zambia.

“We have since directed our high commissioner in Zambia to deal with this matter and take it up. They will be meeting the foreign ministry in Zambia today. We also intend calling in the Zambian High Commissioner to SA to also have a discussion and also seek an explanation as to what happened here. We’ll take it from there.”

Maimane will hold a media briefing on the matter at the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria on Friday.

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– By Wisani Makhubele