State’s appeal against al-Bashir arrest thrown out by Supreme Court


The Supreme Court of Appeal has reportedly declared government’s failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, unlawful and against the principles of the Rome Statute.

Last month, government announced it would appeal the ruling of Pretoria High Court Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, that al-Bashir should have been arrested in accordance with the Statute, after his abrupt departure from the African Union Summit in Sandton on June 15th.

It was also claimed that his sudden exit, which came hours after the court had ordered his arrest and subsequent handover to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide in Darfur, had been planned by government and that members of the Presidential Protection Unit had escorted him under blue lights to the Waterkloof Air Force Base after a tip-off that the court was going to call for his incarceration.

African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe later remarked that tensions between South Africa and the rest of the continent would have become strained if it arrested a sitting head of state, who was protected under the country’s Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act.

“If we arrested al-Bashir we would not go anywhere in Africa. We will be rejected by everybody on the continent. 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,” Mantashe said at the time.