al-Bashir saga: Government to contest court’s ruling


Government has announced that it will be appealing the Pretoria High Court’s ruling that it failed to apprehend Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, despite numerous promises.

In passing his verdict last Wednesday, Judge President Dunstan Mlambo stated that al-Bashir’s departure from the African Union Summit on June 15th had violated a pending court order against him, and that government had been aware of the case calling for his arrest and handover to the International Crimes Court (ICC) on charges of genocide in Darfur.

“The AU summit agreement did not confer immunity to al-Bashir as head of state – it was only offered through customary law. Therefore immunity is excluded or waived under the Rome Statute. [Under this] South Africa is consequently obligated to arrest and surrender him,” Mlambo said.

Speaking in a statement, Acting Government Communications and Information Service (GCIS) CEO, Phumla Williams, said “the reasons for the appeal will be contained in the affidavit that will be submitted within the prescribed due date” adding that the decision has been taken to review “South Africa’s participation “in the Rome Statute of the ICC”.

In an an affidavit submitted to the court last Thursday, Department of Home Affairs Director General, Mkuseli Apleni, revealed that no proof exists of al-Bashir having left the country after his passport was never shown to immigration officers when his plane departed from the Waterkloof Airforce Base.

“The latter contention is fortified by the fact that verification on the passport details of President al-Bashir against the Movement Control System of the Department of Home Affairs reveals President al-Bashir indeed entered the Republic of South Africa but that there is no record of him leaving the Republic,” Apleni said.