Mmusi Maimane‚ leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA)‚ on Friday laid criminal charges at the Cape Town Central Police Station against several members of Cabinet‚ the SAPS‚ Hawks‚ the National Prosecuting Authority and senior government officials “for their unconstitutional actions in allowing warlord‚ Omar al-Bashir‚ to flee the country“.
He alleged it was a contravention of both the Rome Statute‚ as well as a High Court Order.
The party said in a statement: “In light of this week’s ruling confirming that the government’s notice of intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) was unconstitutional‚ irrational and procedurally flawed‚ the DA believes that those complicit in the escape of Al-Bashir – in contravention of a court order and international law — ought to face the legal consequences“.
“At the time President Al Bashir landed on South African soil in June 2015‚ he was being sought by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity‚ and two separate warrants had been issued for his arrest — on the 4th of March 2009‚ and on the 12th of July 2010. South Africa‚ as a participating party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act 27 of 2002‚ was obliged to arrest and detain President Al Bashir when he set foot on South African territory.
“However‚ in contravention of the Rome Statute‚ as well a Court Interdict compelling the government to take all necessary steps to prevent President Al-Bashir from leaving the Republic of South Africa‚ he was allowed to leave the country on Monday‚ 15 June 2015‚ flying from the Waterkloof Air Base.”
Referring to subsequent court actions that found the government should have detained Al-Bashir‚ the DA said it was incumbent on them‚ “as a party that subscribes to constitutional supremacy and the Rule of Law‚ to ensure that members of Cabinet and high ranking state officials — including the head of the NPA‚ the SAPS and Hawks — are held accountable for their role in breaching the Constitution and undermining the Judiciary“.