Government of South Africa Loses Court Appeal Regarding Failure to Detain Sudanese President


The government of South Africa has lost an appeal against a High Court judgement that condemned its failure to arrest Omar al-Bashir (pictured), the President of Sudan, during a visit to the country last year, and deemed it unlawful.

President Al-Bashir is the subject of an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court, for allegedly committing crimes against humanity. As a member of the ICC, South Africa was legally compelled to detain him when the leader visited the country to attend an African Union summit in Johannesburg. The government argued that the President could not be detained as he enjoyed immunity, owing to his position as a head of State.

“The decision by the South African government not to arrest Al-Bashir was inconsistent with South African law,” Supreme Court judge Carole Lewis said. The judge made the ruling after Justice Minister Michale Masuta and 11 others appealed the order of the Pretoria High Court, handed down in June 2015.

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Text source: (15th March 2016)

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