NUMSA condemns Zambian immigration officials for harassment

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) condemns the Zambian immigration authorities for their harassment and ill treatment of NUMSA members. Last Saturday two NUMSA members who were flying to Zambia to attend the launch of the Socialist Party in Zambia were harassed by immigration officials at the airport who stopped them, and then sent back to South Africa. Their paper work was in order and they were not carrying anything illegal. They were simply flying in on a one day trip to support their comrades who were launching the Socialist Party in Zambia last weekend.

The Zambian officials prevented them from proceeding to their destination. Furthermore, they detained them for several hours, unjustifiably confiscating their phones and passports, and then sent them back home. Our members were treated like common criminals and yet they had done nothing wrong! A heavily pregnant woman was amongst those detained and she was denied water and food for several hours by the immigration authorities. This is unacceptable! We will be lodging a complaint with Zambian and South African authorities on this matter.


NUMSA congratulates the Socialist Party of Zambia on a successful launch which was held over Easter weekend. This is indeed a landmark moment in the history of that country. The Socialist Party carries the hopes and dreams of the Zambian working class and their families. When workers and their families are united with a common goal they are an unstoppable force of nature which has the power to transform society in their own interests.

NUMSA 1st Deputy President Comrade Basil Cele attended the event and welcomed the official launch of the party on behalf of Metalworkers in South Africa. Dr Cosmos Musumali is the General Secretary of the party and Dr Fred M’membe is Deputy General Secretary and Presidential candidate.  The Socialist Party will champion the interests of workers and their families and support working class struggles in that country and also across the globe.

Also present at the launch was Cuban diplomat Nelson Pages Vilas who gave a congratulatory message of support. Cuba has always been loyal to the struggles of the working class all over the globe, and in particular on the African continent. It has always been dedicated to the struggle for emancipation of the working class in Zambia.

Unfortunately Zambian President Edgar Lungu is a tyrant who viewed the presence of the diplomat at the event as a threat. He has responded by expelling Comrade Vilas from the country. Lungu is punishing the diplomat for attending the launch. The Zambian president is threatened by the existence of a militant, truly worker controlled party because he knows it is the only vehicle with the power to remove him from power. Only a united working class can remove a corrupt tyrant like Lungu, and the Patriotic Front (PF) which he leads. His irrational response proves that he knows his days in office are numbered and that is why he responded in such an outrageous manner. We believe this was at the reason why immigration officials harassed our members. They wanted to frustrate them and prevent them from participating and supporting an organisation which has the power to destroy Lungu’s Patriotic Front. (PF)

NUMSA condemns Lungu and the Zambian government for this cowardly, spineless act!

NUMSA will continue to support the Socialist Party and its goals in Zambia. Furthermore we will continue to do all we can to mobilize our forces locally and abroad against the authoritarian regime of Lungu, the PF and all their corrupt cronies. We will not rest until Lungu and his cronies have been removed and relegated to the dustbin of history where they belong!

Aluta continua!

The struggle continues!

Issued by Irvin Jim

NUMSA General Secretary

For more information please contact:

Phakamile Hlubi-Majola

NUMSA National Spokesperson (Acting)