Judges’ comments on Omar al-Bashir mark ‘new low’ for SA, say political parties

2015-06-25 10:57
All eyes on the new national director of public prosecutions, Advocate Shaun Abrahams in the Omar al-Bashir saga. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

All eyes on the new national director of public prosecutions, Advocate Shaun Abrahams in the Omar al-Bashir saga. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

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A high court’s damning rebuke of the government for not obeying a court order in the matter involving Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been labelled as “a new low” in the relationship between the government and courts. 

Opposition parties welcomed the ruling in the North Gauteng High Court as a clear victory for the rule of law. 

All eyes are now on the new national director of public prosecutions, Advocate Shaun Abrahams, after the judge invited him to consider whether criminal charges were appropriate. 

Justice department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga did not respond to queries yesterday. 

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem, said that Jacob Zuma and the ruling party presented “the greatest threat to our democracy”. 

If they are not stopped, he said, chaos will ensue, “as the judge has warned”. 

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said the party still had to go through the court papers before commenting. 
FF Plus leader Dr Pieter Mulder said the Bashir issue was the biggest mistake made by the ANC government since 1994. 

“[The] Nkandla [issue] showed that the executive authority [government] is out of control and the judiciary has finally called it to order.” 

According to DA MP James Selfe, the court’s reasons confirmed the view that the government’s actions were contrary to its constitutional obligations. 

“This is the first test for the national director of public prosecutions. We would like to see people in top political positions being investigated, not just junior officials. This is a very serious issue with economic implications. The message sent out to the investor community is that the South African government does not obey its own laws if it is inconvenient to them.” 

IFP MP Albert Mncwango asked how ordinary people were supposed to respect the laws of the country and the courts, if those in the highest positions did not. 

The government will file its affidavit today explaining its handling of the Bashir matter.

Read more on:    shaun abrahams  |  omar al bashir

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