DA moves to impeach Zuma for al-Bashir saga

04 August 2015 - 17:52 By RDM News Wire

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Tuesday that it had given notice in the National Assembly of a motion of impeachment against President Jacob Zuma. The supremacy of the Constitution and respect for the rule of law “were directly contravened by the executive‚ under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma‚ when they facilitated the escape of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from South Africa on 15 June”‚ a statement by DA leader Mmusi Maimane said.“The DA will move to have the motion debated in the House on 18 August‚ whereupon a vote by a third of the House will be required to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate the impeachment charge.”The events that led to the escape of al-Bashir represented “a clear violation of the president’s oath to ‘obey‚ observe‚ uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other law of the Republic’‚ and serve as nothing less than grounds for his removal from office in terms of section 89(1)(a) of the Constitution”.Maimane said al-Bashir was wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC)‚ under two warrants issued in 2009 and 2010 respectively‚ for war crimes‚ crimes against humanity and genocide. As a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC‚ enacted into domestic law through the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act of 2002‚ the South African government had a legal obligation under both international and domestic law to arrest al-Bashir.“In blatant disregard of their legal obligations‚ however‚ Cabinet granted al-Bashir immunity while attending the summit of the African Union in June‚ and subsequently allowed him to escape the country. President Zuma‚ as the head of the Cabinet‚ bears ultimate responsibility for this decision.“The decision to allow al-Bashir to escape was also made in contravention the two High Court orders. On 15 June the North Gauteng High Court found that the failure to arrest Al Bashir was inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic and that he should not have been allowed to leave. By ignoring these rulings‚ the executive undermined the independence and authority of the judiciary as a separate branch of the state in terms of section 165 of the Constitution‚” Maimane said.

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