Government has after six years still not issued a warrant for Omar al-Bashir

Adv Anton Alberts

South Africa still has no warrant of arrest for Omar al-Bashir, even though South Africa had to issue one six years ago in terms of its international legal obligations.

This came to light following a reply to a parliamentary question of the FF Plus regarding the issue, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Justice says.

In a reply to a question of Adv. Alberts regarding the existence of such a warrant which the department of Justice had to issue in 2009 already after the International Criminal Court in The Hague had issued its first warrant for the arrest of al-Bashir, it appears that there is great confusion locally about the warrant.

From the reply of the minister of Justice and Correctional Services, it appears that the second international warrant had indeed been sent to South Africa, but it never reached the department of Justice for processing. It also appears that there are problems to determine what had happened to the first warrant.

The minister acknowledges that his department had only after receiving the FF Plus’ question on the matter (24 June 2015) approached the department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to make enquiries with the South African Embassy in The Hague what the exact date is on which DIRCO had received the warrant and when it had been sent to South Africa (the Department of Justice).

Adv. Alberts says the minister’s floundering about in his reply indicates total incompetence, although it could also be an attempt to cover up the reasons why the warrant had never been issued in South Africa.

“The FF Plus will be approaching the International Criminal Court and to enquire the date on which the warrant for al-Bashir’s had been issued by it and who had received it on behalf of South Africa.

“The government had clearly neglected its international obligations, whether on purpose or as a result of incompetence. Any of these however contributed to the countries’ fast growing international skunk status gaining momentum,” Adv. Alberts said.


Contact no.: 082 391 3117 / 083 419 5403