South African Government says it will abide by the principles of the International Criminal Court (ICC) after it found that government acted unlawfully by failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.
On Thursday the pre-trial chamber in The Hague ruled that South Africa should have prohibited al-Bashir from attending the African Union summit in Johannesburg two years ago.
The international justice says al-Bashir will be charged for misconduct against humanity. In the meantime, Judge Cuno Tarfusser says South Africa failed to perform its duty by not detaining Al-Bashiri.
“By not arresting Omar al-Bashir while he was on its territory, South Africa failed to comply with the court’s request, thereby, preventing the court from exercising its functions and powers.”
International Relation’s Nelson Kgwete says they are studying the ruling and its implications and seeking legal advice on available options.
According to EWN Kgwete maintain that South Africa is totally committed to the principles of international justice.
Tarfusser says South Africa must arrest Al-Bashir and submit him to the court. “It has now been unequivocally established, both domestically and internationally, that South Africa must arrest Omar Al Bashir and surrender him to the court.”
He says any ambiguity as to South Africa’s obligations in terms of the law has been removed.
“In these circumstances, a referral of South Africa’s non-compliance would of no consequence…”
Tarfusser says that decision makes it unnecessary to refer the matter to the Security Council to ensure compliance.
He says South Africa was clearly obliged to arrest al-Bashir.
“South Africa was not entitled to rely on its own understanding of Article 98 of the Statute of Rome to decide unilaterally not to comply with the court’s request for the arrest of al-Bashir.”
He added: “It, therefore, appears that the government of South Africa has accepted its obligation to cooperate with the court under its domestic legal framework.”
Amnesty International has described government’s conduct as a ‘shameful failure’, saying that no state should follow this example. The South African Government says it seeks legal advice on offered options following the ruling and its implications.