A Zambian national, Paul Sikazwe was arrested in Durban after making a joke about carrying a bomb.
Paul and his business friends arrived in South Africa last week and were in Durban to buy motor vehicles.
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 joked: ” 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 .