South Africa lawmakers reject bid to impeach Zuma over Bashir saga

Sep 7, 2015 South Africa’s parliament recently rejected a bid to investigate President Jacob Zuma for allowing Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to evade an arrest warrant in June.

Bashir, who is accused of masterminding genocide in Darfur, was allowed to leave South Africa in defiance of a court ruling that ordered his detention under a warrant from the International Criminal Court.

Zuma, who was on a visit to China at the time, defended his decision saying that Bashir would have been detained had he visited South Africa as an individual, rather than as a delegate to an AU summit.

Mmusi Maimane, whose party sponsored the motion, on a TV debate said:

“This government has officially abandoned Nelson Mandela’s commitment to a human rights based foreign policy on the 15th of June. That was the day Omar Al Bashir was smuggled away from South African soil in defiance of an order of the North Gauteng High Court. It was an escape aided and abetted by President Jacob Zuma himself,”

The head of the opposition Democratic Alliance went on to say:

“This is why today we have tabled a motion to set up an ad hoc committee to look into the impeachment of President Zuma. The constitution of our country proceeds for impeachment proceedings in this constitution when a president commits such a serious violation of our constitution,”

Lindiwe Zulu of the ANC promptly retorted saying that the motion was aimed at discrediting the ANC and undermining South Africa’s role in the International Criminal Court.

“Honorable members, I wish to state from the onset that the African Nation Congress will not support this motion. It is a motion aimed at discrediting the leadership of the ANC as led by President Jacob Zuma,”.

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