Government says it was not allowed to present legal arguments during the application to have al-Bashir arrested, and thus South Africa’s rights were violated.
South Africa said it needed an extension as the case was “complex’ and the conflicting legal principles involved, both in worldwide and in South African domestic law, and the fact that the South African domestic courts are still dealing with the matter”.
The Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) has urged government to continue communicating with the worldwide Criminal Court (ICC) to resolve the dispute over Omar al-Bashir.
Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane also threw a few jabs at the worldwide court, adding fuel to tensions between the court and many of its African member states. “Well our position, obviously, is that South Africa had a duty to arrest President Omar al-Bashir when he was here and that their failure to comply with that duty has been ruled unconstitutional and invalid, and we support that judgment”.
The decision by President Zuma and his Executive dealt South Africa’s global standing and reputation a severe blow.
“South Africa doesn’t want a showdown with the ICC, south Africa knows that the threat of pulling out of the ICC will take at least one year”.
“South Africa has now approached the Court for more time to respond to this request”. This excuse holds no water as the United Nations implicitly revoked Al-Bashir’s immunity as an acting head of State in 2005 under UN Security Council Resolution 1593 due to the seriousness of the charges against him and the need for justice to be served for the people of Sudan. These excuses include that Al-Bashir was protected by immunity granted to him by the African Union.
Bashir is accused of masterminding genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes during Sudan’s Darfur conflict and is wanted by the Hague-based tribunal, which issued a warrant for his arrest in 2009.
This may be seen as an open defiance of the ICC by South Africa and will likely strengthen rumours that Pretoria will soon pull out of the Rome Statute.