Omar al-Bashir will not be visiting SA in December

The Sudanese leader was scheduled to attend the Africa-China Summit in the country in two months’ time.

FILE: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (R) meets with South African President Jacob Zuma during an official two-day visit on 31 January, 2015 in the capital Khartoum. Zuma is expected to discuss bilateral cooperation as well as socio-economic development and peace and security issues on the continent. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Behind the scenes, negotiations between the governments of South Africa and Sudan have reportedly concluded that President Omar al-Bashir will not be visiting South Africa in December.

The Sunday Times says this is to avoid a repeat of June's diplomatic and legal crisis, caused by the South African government's failure to arrest al-Bashir, as per the High Court's instructions.

The Sudanese president is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity.

He was scheduled to join other continental leaders in the Africa-China Summit in two months' time, but it seems this will no longer happen.

Last week, International Relations Minister Maite Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and other members of the African National Congress's sub-committee on international relations insisted Sudan would be invited to the summit.

This is despite a court ruling that South Africa has an obligation to arrest al-Bashir when he lands here.

But, the Sunday Times says Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour will lead the delegation instead.