“Arresting al-Bashir would have caused conflict” - Mantashe


African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, has said that government’s allowing for the arrest of Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, would have resulted in strained tensions on the continent.

Addressing the media at the party’s international alliance symposium in Johannesburg yesterday, Mantashe stated that no-one would have benefitted from preventing al-Bashir leaving the African Union Summit on June 15th, adding that the decision was not easy.

“If we arrested al-Bashir we would not go anywhere in Africa. We will be rejected by everybody on the continent,” The Citizen quoted him as saying.

“We are in a no-win situation. We don’t arrest him, we are breaking the law. We arrest him, we are in trouble. You must make difficult choices”.

In passing his verdict last month, Pretoria High Court Judge President Dunstan Mlambo found that al-Bashir’s departure was in direct violation against a pending court order against him, and that government failed to apprehend him despite being aware of the order and numerous past promises to do so.

Earlier this week, Acting Government Communications and Information Service (GCIS) CEO, Phumla Williams, announced that government would be appealing the court’s findings.