SA groups want Obama arrested for war crimes

Mohamed Hussain Vawda, of the Society for the Protection of our Constitution, said he had brought charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Obama.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Lawyers' Association (MLA) made an urgent application to the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday for Obama's arrest, but the application was dismissed.

Vawda said his organisation had taken a different route to that of the MLA.

"There are so many groups of people opposing this visit … and the conduct of Mr Obama," he said.

In an affidavit stamped by the Barberton police, Vawda claimed Obama was directly and indirectly responsible for killing and injuring more than 3 000 people including women and 176 children, in countries which "have been no threat to the US", such as Pakistan and Syria.

He accused Obama of ordering or sanctioning the use of unmanned aerial drones to kill people the US government considered a threat to national safety.

"These attacks are not authorised in terms of orders issued in a court of law," said Vawda, adding the victims were killed on the basis of "mere accusations levelled against them".

"There is no judicial oversight to determine if these persons are indeed guilty of any alleged crimes. They are deprived of a hearing. There is no accountability at all, just simple brazen murder."

Vawda claimed the targets were mainly followers of the Islamic faith, and this amounted to genocide.

He said he had not yet received a response from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The NPA could not be reached for comment.

'Crimes against humanity'
Eyewitness News reported that, in dismissing the Muslim Lawyers' Association's (MLA) application, the North Gauteng High Court found that the case was not urgent, but did not rule on the merits of the case.

Obama arrives in South Africa on Friday as part of an African tour that also includes Tanzania and Sengal.

"We're very disappointed in the decision and be that as it may, we remain hopeful that on review, we'll be successful," MLA spokesperson Yousha Tayob told the broadcaster.

A campaign to arrest Obama for "crimes against humanity" was conducted in Ireland ahead of his visit there in May, according to the #Arrest Obama#May 22 website.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair is also the subject of an arrest campaign.

A website is offering a reward to anyone who attempts a peaceful citizen's arrest of Blair for "crimes against peace", and said it wanted to show him, among others, that "despite his requests for people to 'move on' from Iraq, the mass murder he committed will not be forgotten".

Blair witch-hunt project
The Society for the Protection of our Constitution also sought an arrest warrant for Blair when he visited South Africa in 2012.

In November 2011, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found Blair and former US president George W Bush guilty in absentia of crimes against humanity and genocide for their roles in the Iraq War.

The court acknowledged the verdict was non-enforceable, but the findings were reported to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

At the time, the Daily Maverick reported that the official UK government inquiry into the Iraq War, the Chilcot Inquiry, was set to release a report late this year. – Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Sapa
Guest Author
Advertisting

Tension over who’s boss of courts

In a letter, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng questions whether Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has acted constitutionally

SABC sued over ‘bad’ clip of Ramaphosa

A senior employee at the public broadcaster wants compensation for claims of ‘sabotage’

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders