The Democratic Alliance (DA) has lashed out at the chairman of parliament’s portfolio committee on international relations and cooperation for what it called the abuse of the national legislature’s communications machinery.
The African National Congress’s Siphosezwe Masango in a statement on Thursday, purporting to be from all MPs represented on the committee, said South Africa was justified in not arresting Sudan President Omar al-Bashir when he visited South Africa for an African Union summit 2015.
His statement was in reaction to a ruling by the International Criminal Court (ICC) that found South Africa, a signatory to the Rome Statute, had failed in its obligations to arrest and surrender Bashir following a request from the Hague.
“The chairperson cannot purport to speak on behalf of his committee. It is a multiparty forum, and such pronouncements can only be made once resolutions have actually been taken by the committee. The ICC court ruling has not been brought to Parliament, and as such these statements are wholly false,” said DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.
Steenhuisen said the statement was an attempt to mitigate the negative publicity generated by the ICC ruling.
Masango’s statement released on Thursday said: “If this ruling is insistent that South Africa ought to have arrested the president of Sudan, then that is justification enough for the South African government to leave the ICC as a matter of urgency.”