Govt wants SCA to consider al-Bashir case

It’s understood South Africa’s position in respect of executing ICC arrest warrants is unclear.

Plane with call sign Sudan 01 taking off from Waterkloof Air Force Base just before midday on 15 June 2015. Alet Pretorius/Beeld/Netwerk24.

PRETORIA - Government wants the Supreme Court of Appeal to consider the case involving Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir because South Africa's position in respect of executing International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants is unclear.

Al-Bashir visited South Africa last month to attend the African Union Summit in Johannesburg.

It emerged that al-Bashir had already left the country in direct breach of an interim court order after a full bench of judges ordered his arrest.

Government wants clarity on its obligations to the ICC particularly when faced with competing domestic legal obligations.

The High Court ruled last month that the immunity conferred to al-Bashir, in terms of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act, did not suspect its obligations to the ICC.

But government said the court erred in this regard and has referred to legal provisions when making its case that to arrest al-Bashir would have itself been against the law.

It further argues that the Appeal Court, unlike the High Court will be afforded an opportunity to deliberate on the matter without severe time constraints.