Ricochet News

DA’s drafting of Madonsela will cause unnecessary case backlog - ANC

DA’s drafting of Madonsela will cause unnecessary case backlog - ANC

The African National Congress (ANC) has accused the Democratic Alliance (DA) of abusing the office of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela for its own political gain, after party leader Mmusi Maimane yesterday announced that he had written a letter requesting her to investigate media reports linking government involvement with the hasten departure of Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir.

“It cannot be right that domestic and international laws are flouted to protect an alleged war criminal and human rights violator while the government of President Zuma remains silent and avoids answering pertinent questions,” Maimane said.

“The President and the Executive cannot simply ignore the law as they see fit. The ANC has forsaken the principles of our Constitution and the need to respect the rule of law. This [case] should be the priority of the [African Union] – not the protection of those with no regard for the rule of law, including a man wanted for genocide”.

In a statement, ANC Spokesperson in the Office of Chief Whip Stone Sizani, Moloto Mothapo, described Maimane’s approach as being “driven by sheer political posturing” and that it makes a “mockery out of a Chapter 9 institution”.

“The public protector's office is inundated with an avalanche of serious, and sometimes desperate, complaints from the public, and the DA's political games would worsen the backlog and cause undue delays on legitimate cases from ordinary members of the public,” he said.

“The matter of President al-Bashir's visit is a subject of an ongoing court process. If the DA respects and upholds our courts' jurisdiction and jurisprudence, as it often claims, it should allow the court process to run its course. The decision to approach the Public Protector is tantamount to forum shopping. It is a blatant abuse of the state institutions that unnecessarily strains their limited resources merely to garner few media headlines.”

al-Bashir, who was attending a summit of the African Union in Sandton, abruptly left the country on June 15th, after ignoring an order brought by the Pretoria High Court to remain in South Africa and face a possible handover to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide claims in Darfur.

Various media reports over the weekend have since alleged that his sudden exit was the result of a carefully orchestrated plot, and that certain high ranking Ministers had promised his security even if it meant contravening the constitution.

Acting Government Spokesperson, Phumla Williams, has denied that government had any involvement in the matter, saying that a report will be tabled to court once it has been finalised.

A special sitting of the National Assembly debating the matter is currently taking place in Parliament.