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African News Agency, M&G Online reporter24 Jun 2015 15:22
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir left South Africa despite a high court order prohibiting his departure. (AFP)
The court on Wednesday requested the National
Director of Public Prosecutions to consider initiating criminal charges over
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s controversial departure from South Africa, despite a high court order expressly prohibiting it.
It found that al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, did not have immunity from arrest while attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg.
departure of President Bashir from this country in the full awareness of the
explicit order of Sunday June 14, objectively viewed, demonstrates
non-compliance with that order,” said Judge President Dunstan Mlambo.
this reason, we find it prudent to invite the National Director of Public
Prosecutions to consider whether criminal proceedings are appropriate.”
week, Mlambo said the court wanted an explanation as to why al-Bashir was allowed to
leave South Africa on June 15, despite an interim court order barring him from
departure issued by Judge Fabricius on June 14.
request an affidavit to be filed with the registrar of this court within seven
days, disclosing the time when he left, the port of entry or exit that he
used,” Mlambo told the South African government’s
lawyer William Mokhari.
is of concern to this court that it issues orders and then things just happen
in violation of those orders. Be that as it may, that is an order we issue
under the circumstances.”
state was expected to file that affidavit by Thursday.
has been indicted by the ICC for war crimes, crimes against humanity and
genocide against some of the tribes of Sudan’s western Darfur region.
warrants of arrest were issued against him in 2009 and 2010.
a member of the ICC, South Africa is obliged to arrest him and surrender him to
application before the Pretoria high court was brought by nongovernmental organisation the
Southern Africa Litigation Centre, which sought to compel the South African
government to fulfil its obligations to the ICC.
a heated parliamentary debate, the ANC’s lead speaker raised the threat of South Africa leaving the ICC. Obed Bapela, deputy minister of traditional affairs, said South Africa would press for reforms of the ICC,
accusing it of losing credibility because countries such as the United States
had failed to place themselves under the control of the Hague-based
ANC reserves the right to raise these reform packages and, if rejected, we will
have no alternative but to review our membership of the ICC,” he said.
opposition Democratic Alliance had accused the government of a serious breach
of the Constitution by allowing al-Bashir to leave the country.
Zuma government has committed a crime of allowing a wanted man to evade the
law,” said Stevens Mokgalapa, the DA’s shadow minister of international
Plot to let al-Bashir leaveA government
plot to protect and give safe passage to al-Bashir was hatched at a secret meeting held by security cluster ministers at
the Taj Hotel in Cape Town five days before he landed in South Africa, reported the
senior government source with direct knowledge of the meeting said it was
agreed that South Africa would protect al-Bashir by any means necessary – even if
it meant flouting court rulings and undermining the Constitution.
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