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Zuma expects Sudan to participate in China-Africa forum

Jacob Zuma remains tight-lipped on whether Omar al-Bashir will be invited to South Africa again.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma says Sudan is expected to participate in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation being hosted in Johannesburg next December.

But he won't say if President Omar al-Bashir will be invited.

Briefing journalists and diplomats in Pretoria today, President Zuma said the issue of Sudan's president visit to South Africa last June is sub judice.

South African officials are studying a call by the International Criminal Court for an explanation of how and why the Sudanese President was allowed to leave the country.

Zuma says he will decide on the next course of action after that.

South Africa's own courts are considering the matter of the June visit. Therefore the matter is sub judice.

The Pretoria High Court is asking why its order that Bashir be held pending its ruling on what action should be taken, was flouted.

The Sudanese leader, who was in South Africa for an African Union summit in June, slipped out of the country in violation of a High Court order.

The ICC insisted that as a founder member, South Africa was obliged to enforce its warrant for al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes in Darfur.

South African authorities are said to have helped President al-Bashir, who's accused of masterminding genocide in Darfur, get out of the country when a Pretoria court ordered that he be prevented from leaving.

Earlier this month, the ICC gave South African authorities a month to explain how and why this happened.

It pointed out that the matter could be referred to the ICC Assembly of States Parties or the United Nations Security Council that can impose sanctions.