We need nothing less than full disclosure from President Zuma on Al-Bashir’s escape
19 June 2015
The disruption of Parliament yesterday prevented President Jacob Zuma from answering questions on Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir’s escape from South Africa.
In this latest show of President Zuma’s disdain for the law, Al-Bashir was aided to evade an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant and a High Court Order that was blatantly ignored by the South African government.
Yesterday’s missed opportunity in Parliament does not remove President Zuma’s responsibility to account to South Africa. Al-Bashir clearly received help from the highest level to escape, in direct contradiction of a High Court Order.
The DA calls on President Zuma to ensure that government accounts in full to the High Court by the deadline of Friday next week.
Government’s affidavit requested by Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, should at the very least include:
1. Which Cabinet members were involved in orchestrating Al-Bashir’s escape?
2. Who authorised Al-Bashir’s departure from Waterkloof Airforce base in violation of a High Court ruling prohibiting it?
3. Who authorised the use of the VIP protection unit to escort Al-Bashir to Waterkloof?
4. Who instructed officials to lie about Al-Bashir’s departure and his presence on the passenger list?
5. What assurances were given to Al-Bashir that he would not be arrested in SA, and by whom?
Given the facts, it appears quite obvious that the President and his Cabinet were responsible for authorising Al-Bashir’s departure.
This makes the commitment made by government’s legal counsel, advocate William Mokhari, that the Ministers of State Security and the Presidency would fully investigate the circumstances of his departure nothing more than a disingenuous ploy to appease the Court.
As a country we have a duty to uphold the laws of the land and international laws we are signatories to. We cannot, after the fact, decry and ignore the laws we are beholden to, even if we disagree with them.
Equality before the law is a cornerstone of our constitutional democracy, which we must always hold sacred and practice, regardless of the circumstances. We cannot uphold the law on an ad hoc basis.
President Zuma needs to detail exactly how a wanted war criminal evaded answering for his atrocities in Sudan, including the slaughter of 300,000 people.
The Democratic Alliance will ensure that all who colluded to have President Al-Bashir sidestep accountability face the full might of the law.
Statement issued by DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, June 19 2015