al-Bashir saga: Government asks for leave to appeal


Government has reportedly lodged an application at the Pretoria High Court for the granting of leave to appeal following last month’s ruling that it failed to apprehend Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, despite being aware of a pending order calling for his arrest and handover to the International Crimes Court (ICC) on charges of genocide.

al-Bashir, who had been attending a summit of the African Union in Sandton, abruptly left the country on June 15th in spite of the court ruling that he remain in South Africa and face possible arrest for the crimes committed in Darfur.

According to Eyewitness News, government claims no provision was made for the implementing of the Rome Statute and that the court should have ruled certain sections of the Immunities Act illegal regarding the arrest of a head of state.

Addressing the media earlier this month, African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, said that al-Bashir’s arrest would have caused strained tensions on the continent, and that the decision to let his plane depart from the Waterkloof Airforce Base, was not easy.

“If we arrested al-Bashir we would not go anywhere in Africa. We will be rejected by everybody on the continent. We don’t arrest him, we are breaking the law. We arrest him, we are in trouble. You must make difficult choices,” he said.