On Wednesday, the state’s application to appeal the court’s June judgment was rejected with costs. The North Gauteng High Court reaffirmed its decision that under South African law the Sudanese president should have been arrested in South Africa in June when he attended the African Union (AU) summit.
Public explanations for letting Al-Bashir go include taking a stance against the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the West. African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe suggested it could have put South African troops in Sudan in danger. “He came here to do continental business invited by the continental organisation – we have no right to violate the AU rules,” Zuma told Parliament last month.
In its application for leave to appeal the state argued it had no obligation to arrest Al-Bashir. It wanted to appeal the finding that a cabinet resolution and notice from the home affairs minister under the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act, aimed at protecting AU delegates from arrest, did not trump South Africa’s Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act. The state also said an appeal would help the state on how to approach future issues of immunity for sitting heads of state.