Five ports of entry didn't get al-Bashir court order

Pretoria - Five ports of entry had not confirmed receipt of an interim order that Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir was not allowed to leave the country, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

This information was presented to three judges shortly before Netwerk24 journalist Erika Gibson tweeted that Al-Bashir's plane had departed from Waterkloof airport in Pretoria. It was not clear if he was on the plane.

But as far as the government is aware, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is still in South Africa, the High Court in Pretoria heard.

“To the best of our knowledge as the government, he is in the country,” William Mokhari, SC, for the government, told a full bench of the court, led by Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo.

Mokhari was speaking ahead of an application by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) for the court to issue an order for the arrest by Al-Bashir. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court to stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.  

“I’m aware of the reports which appeared in Bloomberg that he’d left the country,” Mokhari continued.

Reports surprising - govt

“Those reports were surprising to us as government. There is no confirmation of his departure, so this court still has jurisdiction to hear this matter.”

Mokhari told the court that five ports of entry still had to confirm receipt of Judge Hans Fabricius’s interim order, handed down on Sunday, that Al-Bashir be prevented from leaving the country.

He arrived in the country on Saturday for a two-day African Union summit in Johannesburg that ends on Monday.

The order required the Department of Home Affairs director general to effect service of the order on all ports of entry.

Mokhari asked the court to adjourn until 14:00 to allow the judges to study affidavits filed by the ministers of home affairs and international relations.

Isabel Goodman, for the SALC, asked the court to deal with the matter urgently, given the fact that five ports of entry had not confirmed receipt of the interim order.

“We don’t wish to rush the bench. But we say that the matter remains urgent and there remains a very real risk that President Al-Bashir will leave.”

After court adjourned, rumours began circulating among journalists that Al-Bashir had left South Africa from Air Force Base Waterkloof.

Mlambo adjourned the matter for an hour.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Should Proteas star Quinton de Kock continue playing at the T20 World Cup even if he doesn't take the knee in support of the fight against racism?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes! He should be allowed to show his support any way he chooses
38% - 1755 votes
No! If De Kock refuses to unite with his teammates, then he should be on the next plane home
12% - 565 votes
The only ones at fault here are Cricket SA, who have sabotaged another Proteas World Cup
49% - 2269 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.04
-1.4%
Rand - Pound
20.67
-1.3%
Rand - Euro
17.44
-1.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.30
-1.7%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.8%
Gold
1,797.17
+0.2%
Silver
24.08
-0.3%
Palladium
1,961.53
-2.4%
Platinum
1,013.50
-1.8%
Brent Crude
86.40
+0.5%
Top 40
60,874
-0.3%
All Share
67,475
-0.2%
Resource 10
63,082
-0.9%
Industrial 25
87,253
+0.1%
Financial 15
14,054
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE