Maimane lays criminal charges

Maimane lays criminal charges against ministers, police over al-Bashir escape

DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Friday laid criminal charges against some cabinet members, senior government officials, the Hawks, SAPS and NPA over the government’s plot to assist wanted criminal Omar al-Bashir escape SA.

Maimane lays criminal charges

On Friday Mmusi Maimane laid criminal charges against a host of government employees, from the SAPS to cabinet, for aiding wanted criminal Omar al-Bashir in escaping justice on his last vist to Mzansi.

Read: Zuma and his ministers plotted Omar al-Bashir’s escape from South Africa

On June 15 2015 al-Bashir — wanted for the murder of hundreds of thousands of his own people — escaped South Africa despite an order from the International Criminal Court — of which we are a part and one of the very first members — and a Pretoria High Court order to apprehend al-Bashir so he could stand trial for his crimes against humanity.

“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,” the DA leader said in a statement.

Read: Government summoned to appear before ICC to answer for Al-Bashir blunder

“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,” the statement continues.

“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.

Following this, Zuma’s government was taken to court for its disregard for the law. In that matter the North Gauteng High Court ruled that Cabinet members and senior government officials “failed to take steps to arrest and/or detain the President of the Republic of Sudan Omar Al Bashir” – as required to do – therefore making their actions “inconsistent with the Constitution” and “invalid”.”

“The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) confirmed this by stating that “the conduct of the Respondents in failing to take steps to arrest and detain, for surrender to the International Criminal Court, the President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, after his arrival in South Africa on 13 June 2015 to attend the 25th Assembly of the African Union, was inconsistent with South Africa’s obligations in terms of the Rome Statute and section 10 of the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act 27 of 2002”.

It is therefore incumbent upon the DA 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. The South African Government in this regard has also failed the people of Sudan.”

Read Maimane’s full statement here.