By John Chimunhu
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe is now at the centre of an international investigation into how Sudanese fugitive Omar Al-Bashir evaded arrest in South Africa last week and escaped International Criminal Court Justice at the Hague.
SA’s opposition Democratic Alliance said it was filing it’s request for a full probe into the episode by the public protector’s office and Mugabe’s role would be investigated.
“African Union (AU) Chairperson, President Robert Mugabe, summoned President Zuma and AU Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in order to guarantee President Al-Bashir’s immunity and safe passage while in South Africa,” the DA said in a statement Sunday.
The South African parliament will grill the minister of international relations and cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, at a portfolio committee meeting on Tuesday morning, where she will be asked to brief the committee on her role in Bashir’s dramatic escape.
“As a Minister in the South African Cabinet she has a duty to uphold the Constitution, not the wishes of the AU and its Chairperson, President Robert Mugabe,” the DA said.
Al Bashir was sprung out of SA by the country’s security services at the behest of Zuma.
Below is the full DA statement:
“As the days pass since Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir fled the country, a growing body of evidence points to an elaborate and well-coordinated plot by the Presidency, in collusion with the Security Cluster, to facilitate his escape.
The DA will request a full investigation by the Public Protector to determine who was responsible for authorising the use of state resources to enable Al-Bashir’s unlawful departure. It cannot be right that domestic and international laws are flouted to protect an alleged war criminal and human rights violator while the government of President Zuma remains silent and avoids answering pertinent questions.
The most recent reports make a number of startling revelations about the state’s complicity:
- African Union (AU) Chairperson, President Robert Mugabe, summoned President Zuma and AU Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in order to guarantee President Al-Bashir’s immunity and safe passage while in South Africa;
- The Security Cluster Ministers as well as the Director-General in the Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi, met at a Cape Town hotel five days ahead of the AU Summit in order to hatch this criminal scheme; and
- The Presidential Protection Unit was tasked with President Al-Bashir’s ground transport.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will this week exhaust all available opportunities in Parliament to hold the President and the Executive to account.
On Tuesday the National Assembly will debate a motion put forward by the DA to discuss the implications of the attendance and departure of Al-Bashir from the African Union (AU) Summit on 15 June.
We have further been assured by the Committee Chair of the attendance of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, at the Portfolio Committee meeting on Tuesday morning, where she will be asked to brief the Committee. As a Minister in the South African Cabinet she has a duty to uphold the Constitution, not the wishes of the AU and its Chairperson, President Robert Mugabe.
These steps will provide an invaluable opportunity for government to shed some light on the events that led to Al-Bashir’s departure.
The President and the Executive cannot simply ignore the law as they see fit. The ANC has forsaken the principles of our Constitution and the need to respect the rule of law.
The DA believes in a foreign policy premised on an unwavering respect for human rights and the rule of law. The decision by government to allow a wanted war criminal to escape is a rejection of both these principles and an insult to the memory of President Mandela who promised in 1993 that “human rights will be the light that guides our foreign affairs.”
Both the ANC and the AU have failed in their obligation to bring justice for the slaughter of 300,000 fellow Africans in Dafur, as well as the displacement of a further 2.5 million. This should be the priority of the organisation – not the protection of those with no regard for the rule of law, including a man wanted for genocide.
The DA will fight to renew our position as a bastion of human rights and a member of the community of nations committed to advancing peace, prosperity and freedom in the world.”