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Govt pressed to give answers on Omar al-Bashir

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir evaded arrest by fleeing the country despite a court order last week.

FILE. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - Government has until Thursday to explain to the High Court in Pretoria why and how Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir left the country in contravention of a court order.

Weekend reports claimed al-Bashir's exit was carefully planned by President Jacob Zuma and his senior ministers.

The court was told that al-Bashir had left the country after it had ordered that he be arrested on an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant.

Judge President Dunstan Mlambo gave government seven working days to explain the circumstances which led to a High Court order being breached a week ago.

Weekend newspapers reported that Zuma and ministers from the Justice Cluster had apparently helped the Sudanese president flee the country.

While the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) was arguing to have the dictator arrested, the police's VIP Protection Unit was escorting him to his plane at Waterkloof Air Force Base.

Even after the aircraft took off, the court was told that al-Bashir's name was not on the passenger list and the court was only told he had left after the order was granted.

LISTEN: Here are two divergent perspectives on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Africa and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's slick exit from South Africa on Monday without facing arrest or any legal action.