Omar al-Bashir ruling enough justification to leave ICC - Parliament committee chair

2017-07-06 17:52
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrives for a group photograph of leaders at the 25th AU Summit in Johannesburg in 2015. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP, file)

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrives for a group photograph of leaders at the 25th AU Summit in Johannesburg in 2015. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP, file)

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

Cape Town - The chairperson of Parliament's international relations and co-operation portfolio committee said the International Criminal Court's ruling that South Africa ought to have arrested Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is justification to leave the body.

The ICC found on Thursday that SA should have arrested Bashir in 2015 when he visited the country to attend an African Union summit in Johannesburg.

The ICC's Supreme Court of Appeals also upheld that the South African government ought to have complied with the arrest warrant issued by the North Gauteng High Court in February 2016.

Portfolio committee chairperson Sipho Masango said the ruling ignored international practice to grant diplomatic immunity to heads of state on official business.

Bashir was also not invited to the country by the government, but by the AU.

READ: South Africa should have arrested Al-Bashir - ICC

No diplomatic immunity

"President Bashir was in the country attending an African Union summit of heads of state, and the principles of diplomatic immunity applied," Masango said in a statement.

"The committee remains convinced that South Africa acted in the best interests of African states and her people by not arresting a sitting head of state."

Diplomatic immunity ensured that nations should respect absolute freedom for heads of states when visiting countries on international missions, he said.

SA ought to have been treated like the UN: When presidents attend important meetings in the US they cannot be arrested while on those assignments, Masango argued.

"If this ruling is insistent that South Africa ought to have arrested the president of Sudan, then that is justification enough for the South African government to leave the ICC as a matter of urgency," he said.

Judge Cuno Tarfusser ruled earlier on Thursday that SA had had a duty to arrest Bashir in June 2015 and surrender him to the courts, News24 reported.

He also ruled that the argument for diplomatic immunity was invalid, and that Bashir was not covered by it during the visit.

Bashir, who has been president of the Republic of Sudan since 1993, was issued with his first warrant of arrest on March 4, 2009, and another on July 12, 2010.

He has been charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

Cabinet stated its intent to withdraw from the Rome Statute as a result of the furore, saying their obligations were in conflict with their responsibilities to the AU.

Discussions around withdrawal continue following a Democratic Alliance sponsored court bid to have the decision declared irrational, unconstitutional, and subverting Parliament.

Read more on:    parliament  |  icc  |  omar al-bashir  |  cape town

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/World
 

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.