Mogoeng won't be surprised if al-Bashir matter goes to ConCourt

2015-06-18 21:08
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Thursday would not be drawn on whether the South African government flouted its own laws when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir flew out the country on Monday before the Pretoria High Court ruled he should be arrested on the warrant issued by the International Criminal Court.

“The matter is before the North Gauteng High Court [High Court in Pretoria]. From the news I understand the executive has been asked to file an affidavit explaining the circumstances in which President al-Bashir left the country. They are going to examine that. So for now the matter is sub judice.

“South Africans have become as litigious as the Americans, I won’t be surprised if this matter ends up in the Constitutional Court. We have got to share the responsibilities of disposing of information, because if I say anything now, I would have to recuse myself later. I will deal with that matter when it comes,” he said.  

News24 reported on Monday the High Court in Pretoria ordered the Minister in the Presidency and Minister of State Security to submit an affidavit explaining when and through which port of entry al-Bashir was allowed to leave.

The ministers were given a week to do so. The court on Sunday ruled the government had to prevent al-Bashir from leaving the country until it had dealt with an application to have him arrested.

Minutes before its order to the two ministers on Monday, the court had ruled the government had to take steps to arrest al-Bashir.

He is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial on charges of war crimes and genocide committed in Darfur. 

'Growing the economy'

Mogoeng was responding to questions during a dialogue hosted by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the theme “growing the economy”. He had earlier addressed the business community on unity and urged businessmen and businesswomen to expose corruption.

“Business has the responsibility to boldly identify corruption as a problem that needs to be rooted out and crushed. I think the business sector would do well if it actively participated in the process designed to root out those practices that bring the business community into disrepute.

“Fronting is a programme designed to empower the previously disadvantaged economically, but our previously advantaged partners use an ignorant person to project him as a managing director of a company when in fact he or she is nothing but a gardener. There needs to be a concerted effort in identifying those ills and exposing them,” he said.

Mogoeng called on the business community to be more united, saying divisions in the commercial world were evident and the more united the business community, the more powerful it would become in rooting out corruption.

“We have questioned the manner in which some of you get tenders. For you to get a tender awarded in a manner that flouts the processes is something businesses entities should frown upon and expose the corruption even if it means you lose out of opportunities. The more the perception grows that South Africa is corrupt, the more reluctant investors are to come to our country to create jobs for the unemployed," said Mogoeng.  

"It’s okay to lose out, because we need to get our country right. The only way to do it is not to be silent when you ought to be speaking out,” he said.

He said people could make a difference on their own without being cheered on by a crowd.

“You don’t have to be a large group to impact your immediate surroundings, your community, your problems or your nation and your continent meaningfully."

Mogoeng explained Mother Teresa did not look for company before she embarked on a noble project of seeking to touch the many vulnerable people.

"She didn’t mobilise people for support. She identified the problem, looked for the solution and many must have criticised her when they got to know what she was busy with, but she sought to touch the lives of many people the only way she knew how.

“I think the time has come for South Africans in the business sector to identify what divides them, solve those challenges they are able to solve and spend more time finding out what unites them and what their common strengths are.

“If we as South Africans could bury our differences to the point where we could find it possible, after the death of Chris Hani, to conclude the processes of making the Constitution and vote, hold peaceful elections more than once, then no problem is too difficult for South Africans to solve.”

Mogoeng said all South Africans had the responsibility to continuously remember and reflect on the injustices committed in the past. “We have got to remember this country does not belong to the rich or the poor, but to all of us. But we all need a sense of belonging,” he said.

Read more on:    omar al-bashir  |  mogoeng mogoeng

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