Government will consider a Constitutional Court appeal following its defeat in a Bloemfontein court on Tuesday morning.
In a damning judgement against the South African government‚ the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should have been arrested when he arrived in the country last year.
The judgement was handed down in Bloemfontein.
Government was appealing a Pretoria High Court ruling which stated that because South Africa was a signatory to the Rome Statute‚ Al-Bashir should have been arrested when attended the African Union Summit in June.
Despite a court order from the Pretoria High Court that he not be allowed to leave‚ Al-Bashir flew home from Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria after the summit.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir in connection with genocide and crimes against humanity.
The Southern African Litigation Centre approached the High Court to compel government to arrest Al-Bashir.
Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh‚ executive director of the Southern African Litigation Centre said that they were delighted that the Supreme Court of Appeal had dismissed the government's appeal.
"We will be in position to comment further once we have studied the judgement‚" she said.
Justice Ministry spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said that they would "reflect" on all the issues contained in the judgement.
"Once we have studied the judgement we will be able to make a decision on whether it can be escalated to the constitional court‚" he said.
In its ruling the Supreme Court of Appeal said that the conduct of government in "failing to take steps to arrest and detain‚ for surrender to the International Criminal Court‚ the president of Sudan … after his arrival in South Africam was inconsistent with South Africa's obligations in terms of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”.
- TMG Digital/The Times