State affidavit: No evidence that al-Bashir left the county


In an affidavit submitted to the Pretoria High Court late yesterday afternoon, the Department of Home Affairs stated that President Omar al-Bashir’s passport was never shown when his plane departed from the Waterkloof Airforce Base, and that the on-duty immigrations officer was provided with documents from Sudanese officials that didn’t include those of the President.

“After the receipt of the passports, the immigration officer first of all checked to determine whether any of the passports belonged to President al-Bashir. The immigration officer concluded that the passport of President Bashir was not amongst the passports provided,” Department Director General, Mkuseli Apleni, said in the affidavit.

“Thereafter the immigration officer further checked all the passports and noted that all the passports were endorsed for departure on June 15th 2015”.

He also stated that the Protocol Officer from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation had been accompanying al-Bashir’s entourage as the documents were being processed, and that no details exists of the President leaving South Africa.

“The latter contention is fortified by the fact that verification on the passport details of President Bashir against the Movement Control System of the Department of Home Affairs reveals President Bashir indeed entered the Republic of South Africa but that there is no record of him leaving the Republic,” Apleni said, adding that all of the country’s 72 exist/entry point were sealed off following the court’s order preventing Al-Bashir from departing.

In passing his verdict on Wednesday, Pretoria High Court Judge President Dunstan Mlambo ruled that al-Bashir had violated the court’s order bought against him on June 14th, and that government opted not to arrest him despite being aware of the pending case.

“There are clear indications that the order of Sunday, June 14 was not complied with. 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.

Addressing the media before government submitted its findings, Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, said that the state was reviewing its participation in the International Crimes Court (ICC), which had called for al-Bashir’s arrest on charges of genocide in Darfur, and that South Africa might consider withdrawing “as a last resort”.

“Such a decision will only be taken when South Africa has exhausted all remedies available to it in terms of the Rome Statute,” he was quoted as saying.

In response, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) National Spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, said that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) had become “hellbent on eradicating all institutions of democracy [that does] not agree with them” before describing comments made certain Ministers following Mlambo’s verdict, as a “mindless and myopic attacks on the judiciary”.

“ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe was quoted as saying, “there is a drive in sections of the judiciary to create chaos for government while Higher Education Minister Blade Ndzimande said that, “sections of the judiciary tend to somehow overreach into areas that one would expect even in a constitutional state to tread very, very carefully.

“These are open and irresponsible attacks on the judiciary which obviously considers matters brought in front of it on the basis of laws approved by politicians in parliament. The judiciary would not arrive at the conclusions they do if it is not required by laws of our country,” Ndlozi said.

“If the ANC understood its duty in the continent and if they knew what joining the ICC entails, they should have taken steps to withdraw from it”.