Ramaphosa to face questions over al-Bashir’s non-arrest

The SA govt failed to arrest Omar Al-Bashir who is wanted for war crimes and genocide in Sudan.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is South Africa’s special envoy to Sudan. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to face questions about the government's apparent flouting of a court order for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Ramaphosa will be answering questions in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday afternoon.

Al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes and genocide in his country where the United Nations says more than 300,000 people have been killed and more than two million displaced during years of conflict.

President Jacob Zuma could also be grilled about the decision when he answers questions in the National Assembly on Thursday afternoon.

None of today's questions for Ramaphosa relate specifically to Sudan, but opposition parties are likely to deal with al-Bashir's illegal departure from South Africa during follow-up questions.

Ramaphosa is South Africa's special envoy to Sudan.

Opposition parties believe the government should account for its apparent contravention of the court order that said al-Bashir should not leave the country after attending the African Union summit.

They're set to ask Speaker Baleka Mbete for an urgent debate on the matter.

LISTEN: 'SA troops were held at gunpoint in Sudan'

SA TROOPS HELD HOSTAGE

Reports have emerged that South African troops in Sudan were held hostage until al-Bashir returned to his country.

The Sudanese president left South Africa on Monday in direct contravention of an interdict.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled that he be arrested and handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges including genocide and crimes against humanity.

Netwerk 24 reported on Tuesday Sudanese troops had surrounded three bases in Darfur and only pulled back after their president was safely en route to Khartoum.

The South African National Defence Union's Pikkie Greeff on Tuesday said this had been confirmed by several sources, some of them soldiers.

At the same time, the defence ministry says it cannot confirm claims hundreds of South African soldiers were held hostage by Sudanese counterparts in Darfur.

LISTEN: Sandu spokesman Pikkie Greeff speaks on allegations SA soldiers were held hostage in Sudan