Al-Bashir: 'It was a cabinet decision'

Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu yesterday told parliament that the decision to let Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir off the hook last week was "a collective cabinet decision".

Also speaking on behalf of the ANC, Justice Deputy Minister John Jeffery said South Africa would consider appealing the high court judgment ordering al-Bashir not to leave the country pending the conclusion of the application to compel the government to arrest him.

Opposition MPs, except African People's Convention's Themba Godi, said the government had undermined the rule of law it had sworn to protect by helping al-Bashir, who is facing genocide and crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court, leave South Africa. The ANC sai d the issue was sub judice .

Said DA MP Stevens Mokgalapa: "The government, under President [Jacob] Zuma, has failed to uphold the constitution, has failed the people of South Africa and those who were murdered and displaced in Darfur."

DA MP James Selfe asked the government to stop referring to al-Bashir as "his excellency".

"The only thing he is excellent at is killing people," said Selfe.

He pointed out that al-Bashir stood accused of a leading role in the genocide of 300000 black Africans.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu said no matter what the criticism of the ICC was, the South African government had defied a South African high court order.

COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota said what had been done in the name of South Africa was a serious crime.

But ANC MPs refused to be swayed and supported those claiming the government had acted correctly.
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