Zuma assured AU al-Bashir would not be arrested - Mugabe

2015-06-16 09:38
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe stands next to South African president Jacob Zuma during a photo op at the AU summit in Johannesburg. (Shiraaz Mohamed, AP)

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe stands next to South African president Jacob Zuma during a photo op at the AU summit in Johannesburg. (Shiraaz Mohamed, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma gave the African Union summit assurances that Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir would not be arrested, Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe has said.

Responding to questions by journalists following the close of the AU summit in Sandton just before midnight on Monday, Mugabe said because Bashir was a wanted man, NGOs were going to court to try force his arrest.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"This is not the headquarters of the ICC and we do not want it in this region at all,” Mugabe said.

“There is a view that we must distance ourselves from the ICC, but unfortunately the treaty that set it up was done not by the AU, but by individual countries,” he said.

“But those who signed the treaty are now regretting. We didn’t sign it as Zimbabwe. We won’t subject ourselves to justice outside our country’s borders.”

He said NGOs were used by outsiders to go to court to force government to arrest Bashir, “because he is a wanted man by the ICC”.

Mugabe said in court “not all judges think like we do”, and they might dislike “freedom fighters” or the way things are done in a certain country, he said.

Summit ‘no different to others’

AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was a little less outspoken, saying the AU had nothing to say about Bashir’s attendance because it was within his rights to do so.

“This summit here is no different from any other AU summit. This is not a bilateral meeting, it is a multilateral organisation and when a country hosts it, it does so according to the rules of the AU and not according to the rules of the countries,” she said.

Dlamini-Zuma said various host countries signed agreements with the AU on the hosting of the summit. “This venue up to now,” she said with reference to the Sandton Convention Centre where the conference was held, “is an AU venue, it is not a South African venue,” she said.

“It may be located on the geographical space of South Africa, but is an AU venue."

She added that the AU could not have “any real relationship” with the ICC because it wasn’t a state but a continental body.

Bashir on Monday slipped out of the country despite a court ordering that he should stay until the case by civil society about his arrest was heard. He left while these court proceedings were still in progress.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  au  |  jacob zuma  |  robert mugabe  |  omar al-bashir  |  johannesburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.