South Africa grilled by ICC over decision to not arrest Al Bashir

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visited South Africa for an African Union Summit in Johannesburg last June. Bashir has two international arrest warrants issued in his name. They were issued in 2009 and 2010. He also faces ten charges.

While in South Africa, in 2015, the South African government failed to carry out this international arrest warrant.

On Friday, the South African legal representatives told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that government was under no obligation to arrest a sitting head of state like Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC's) Executive Director spoke to Africa Melane about Friday's court proceedings as well as the SALC's interest and involvement in the case.

Ramjathan-Keogh says her organisation, SALC pursued an arrest warrant for Bashir when he was in South Africa.

My organisation sought leave to be granted amicus status and to file an amicus intervention at this hearing, due to our close relationship with the situation in South Africa and litigation.

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Executive Director , SALC

We had a lot of very good in depth knowledge of the factual and the legal situation. And on this basis, asked to provide a submission to the court which South Africa opposed in writing.

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Executive Director , SALC

Ramjathan-Keogh says the court did grant them permission to file the amicus brief, saying it was desirable as the information would assist the court in their determination of the case. She says they made submission of what transpired in the three days that Bashir was in the country.

And essentially this was saying to the court that there were number of government departments who were assisting and facilitating Bashir's stay in the country and also who facilitated his departure.

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Executive Director , SALC

There were immigration officials who were stationed at the Waterkloof Air-force base who processed the delegation for departure.

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Executive Director , SALC

Ramjathan-Keogh adds that these government officials acted against an interim order from the High Court in Pretoria preventing the Sudanese President from leaving South Africa.

Ramjathan-Keogh says they are now working towards proving government's claims that they attempted to cooperate with the court incorrect.

Listen to full interview in the audio below:


This article first appeared on 702 : South Africa grilled by ICC over decision to not arrest Al Bashir


CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
SA could face UN Security Council if found non-compliant in al-Bashir saga

SA could face UN Security Council if found non-compliant in al-Bashir saga

SA govt is appearing before ICC court to explain why it didn't arrest al-Bashir when he attended the African Union summit in 2015.

South Africa should have arrested Omar al-Bashir - ICC

South Africa should have arrested Omar al-Bashir - ICC

SA legal team appeared before the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court to explain why al-Bashir was not arrested.

Chemical weapons suspected in attack claiming lives of Syrians

Chemical weapons suspected in attack claiming lives of Syrians

US President Donald Trump's administration has blamed the Syrian government for the attack.

SA should try change imperfect ICC from within rather than leave - Zak Yacoob

SA should try change imperfect ICC from within rather than leave - Zak Yacoob

Former Constitutional Court judge Zak Yacoob has responded to a decision by government to revoke its withdrawal from the ICC.

Cabinet will decide to appeal court ruling on ICC withdrawal notice, or not

Cabinet will decide to appeal court ruling on ICC withdrawal notice, or not

The High Court has ruled that executive's notice to withdraw from ICC without Parliamentary approval is unconstitutional.

5 big international shockers that made political waves in 2016

5 big international shockers that made political waves in 2016

A look back at some political moves that made headlines, and in some cases, left the world in disbelief this year.

Amnesty push for independent probe into Sudanese government

Amnesty push for independent probe into Sudanese government

Amnesty International accuses Sudanese government of using chemical weapons on civilians in Darfur region, denied by al-Bashir.

Masutha clarifies legal and political reasons for quitting ICC

Masutha clarifies legal and political reasons for quitting ICC

Justice Minister has confirmed that South Africa is leaving the International Criminal Court (ICC).

SA's decision to withdraw from ICC comes 4 weeks before al Bashir court case

SA's decision to withdraw from ICC comes 4 weeks before al Bashir court case

The Rome Statute is a hindrance for the country to engage in international relations, says Masutha.

South Africa to begin exit process from ICC

South Africa to begin exit process from ICC

Minister of International Relations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane signed 'instrument of withdrawal' from International Criminal Court.

SCA rules that SA's failure to arrest al-Bashir was unlawful

SCA rules that SA's failure to arrest al-Bashir was unlawful

State fails in its attempt to appeal High Court ruling which found its refusal to arrest Omar al-Bashir's last year to be illegal.

Is SA turning its back on international human rights?

Is SA turning its back on international human rights?

SA not doing its bit for international human rights says SA Human Rights Commissioner

Popular articles
'This puts pressure on Jacob Zuma to vacate office earlier'

'This puts pressure on Jacob Zuma to vacate office earlier'

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Daniel Silke, Political Economy Analyst at Political Futures Consultancy.

Judge Mlambo: Zuma's application amounts to abuse of judicial process

Judge Mlambo: Zuma's application amounts to abuse of judicial process

EWN Barry Bateman explains the High Court proceeding on President Zuma's application to set aside parts of Madonsela's report.

It's chicken for Joburgers and Durbanites, but what do Capetonians feast on?

It's chicken for Joburgers and Durbanites, but what do Capetonians feast on?

Stephen Grootes spoke to founder and CEO of OrderIn to find out more about South African's eating habits.

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Watch the Guptas pack their bags and run in Nando's inspiring new advertisement.

PSG Chair Jannie Mouton opens up (kind of) about Steinhoff

PSG Chair Jannie Mouton opens up (kind of) about Steinhoff

In 2012 Steinhoff acquired 20% of wealth manager PSG, reportedly infuriating Mouton. Bruce Whitfield interviews him.

[LISTEN] Caller challenges Eusebius on land disposition

[LISTEN] Caller challenges Eusebius on land disposition

‘I need you to provide me with an answer' - John from Edenvale, Gauteng