ANC to wait for government before commenting on SCA’s al-Bashir ruling


The African National Congress (ANC) has said it would leave it up to government before commenting on the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling, that the state’s acted unlawfully when it opted not to arrest Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, during his visit to South Africa in June last year.

On Tuesday, the court sided with the verdict from the Pretoria High Court that al-Bashir’s abrupt departure from the African Union Summit in Sandton on June 15th, had been in breach of a court order issued the previous day, and that government failed to apprehend him despite being aware of genocide charges he faced over the crisis in Darfur.

“Government has indicated that they will study the judgement before committing themselves to any further action. Accordingly, the ANC awaits government's decision on this matter,” party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

Speaking in a statement, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said the party would consider launching a in contempt of court charges against President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet, for failing to arrest al-Bashir in accordance with the Rome Statute, and for not handing him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the aforementioned mentioned charges.

“Indeed the South African 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,” Maimane said.

“The Court’s decision to dismiss, with costs, the government’s baseless bid to appeal the judgement on the al-Bashir escape is a damning indictment of the government’s deliberate decision to let al-Bashir leave our country in the first place”.

He added that the ruling should serve as a “warning” for Zuma not to invite al-Bashir back to South Africa anytime soon, adding that “this episode will forever represent President Zuma and the ANC’s active destruction of constitutionalism and moral leadership”.