“al-Bashir’s arrest would have been a declaration of war” - ANC


The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has reportedly indicated that it would not be issuing an arrest when Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, next visits South Africa.

Speaking at a meeting of the party’s National General Council in Johannesburg yesterday, International Relations sub-committee chairperson, Obed Bapela, said government did nothing wrong by not having al-Bashir detained when he attended the African Union Summit in Sandton three months ago, adding that no sitting leader of a country had been arrested in South Africa since the end of World War Two.

“The pressure on SA to have done it was going to be a declaration of war. We would have found ourselves in a very difficult and more complex situation,” Bapela was quoted by The Citizen as saying.

Last week, the Pretoria High Court denied the state’s application for leave to appeal, stating that it knew about the court order preventing al-Bashir from leaving the country, and that he should have been handed over to the International Crimes Court (ICC) on charges of genocide in Darfur.

“Government should have never invited President al-Bashir to our shores much less facilitate his state-sanctioned escape knowing full well its obligations to international and domestic law,” Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Chairperson, James Selfe, said after the verdict was given.

“This episode will forever represent President Zuma and the ANC’s abandonment of constitutionalism and moral leadership, where the President and his government conspired to bow to the whims of a wanted warlord and human rights violator”.