Al-Bashir gets green light for return trip to South Africa

Shenaaz Jamal and Neo Goba |
 The ANC has given Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir the green light to return to South Africa to attend the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation in December.

Minster of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, speaking yesterday at the party’s National General Council meeting in Midrand, said President Jacob Zuma had sent invitations to members of the forum and that no special requirements had been imposed on any member.

Obed Bapela, the Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, said there was a need to review South Africa’s affiliation to the International Criminal Court.

Said Bapela: “We are of the view that the ICC has lost its direction.”

South Africa sparked global condemnation when Bashir, who is accused of committing war crimes in Darfur, was allowed to fly home from an AU summit in South Africa in June.

This was in defiance of a Pretoria High Court order that he be detained while the execution of an ICC warrant for his arrest was being reviewed.

The ANC undertook to submit a written explanation to the ICC for its failure to detain Bashir but has asked for more time to assess whether it breached its international obligations.

Jacob van Garderen, of Lawyers for Human Rights, said the NGO would discuss the matter today.

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