THE Zambian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa has disclosed that it has taken up interest in the matter where four Zambians are appearing in Johannesburg Court accused of fraud.
His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba said information had emerged that required that the Mission takes keen interest in the matter.
“After having an audience and discussing with the four accused persons, It has emerged that as an Embassy, we need to take interest in the matter as information has come to the fore that demonstrates that the four Zambians might be treated unfairly”.
This matter arose when infamous prophet, Sheperd Bushiri of Pretoria, through a company named ADF Company entered into a transaction with a Zambian national -Sedrick Kasanda “Alex” Kapasa, to allegedly supply gold to Bushiri’s ADF company.
His Excellency Mr. Mwamba expressed concern with the manner the case has been handled and the prejudicial media statements so far issued.
“We are concerned with the manner the Zambians were clearly set-up by the complainant-Sheperd Bushiri, his company ADF, and what appears to be a pre-organized arrest and their consequent incarceration”. He said.
“We also note the prompt and pre-emptive negative reports given to the media that has turned out to be highly prejudicial to the court case of Zambians which also appear to have predetermined their case” Mr. Mwamba said.
” We are also concerned that persons identified and hired by Sedrick Kasanda Kapasa as personal protection or body guards have also been arrested, implicated and are accused of the same alleged crime as that of Kapasa despite informing authorities that they were mere body guards to Kapasa”. He said.
On 21st April 2017, Police arrested Sedrick Kasanda Kapasa, Ephraim Musukwa, Andrew Nawa and Daniel Phiri at Michelangelo Towers Hotel in Sandton during their meeting with ADF Company officials representing Shepherd Bushiri.
Kapasa was having business meetings with Bushiri’s representatives to discuss their on-going commercial and mineral transactions.
Although the persons identified as body guards for Kapasa informed authorities that they were mere body guards, Police picked them up too.
The body guards are Ephraim Musukwa, Andrew Nawa and Daniel Phiri, who were also picked up together with Kapasa.
Shortly after their arrest, South African media reported that four men who posed as precious metals dealers to allegedly defraud a businessman (Bushiri) of nearly R10m and were arrested by the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court, the Hawks.
“The Zambian nationals: Alex Kapasa, 29, Andrew Nawa, 33, Ephraim Musukwu, 28, and Daniel Phiri, 37, will appear in court on Wednesday May 17th 2017 for their bail application.” Mr. Mwamba said.
“We have spoken to and are cooperating with the Hawks to ensure that the accused persons are given a fair hearing and trial” Mr. Mwamba said.
“We will not discuss the merits of the case or the validity of the claims from both sides, this is the duty of the Court. Our role is to ensure that Zambians are treated fairly and the criminal law is not used to punish mere business rivalry.” He emphasized.
“If it’s a commercial transaction and it has gone sour, the parties should go before civil courts than to use the high handedness of criminal procedures or criminal courts just because the accused persons are foreigners”. Mr. Mwamba said.
His Excellency Mr. Mwamba has since directed that his officials attend court session when the four Zambians appear for their bail application on Wednesday 17th May 2017.
Mrs. Naomi Nyawali
First Secretary Press and Public Relations.
Zambia’s High Commission to South Africa.