President Jacob Zuma said that he would not allow police to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, African Union chairperson Robert Mugabe said.
Speaking after the closure of the AU Summit in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe told a media briefing that South Africa's Jacob Zuma told him about the court battle over Al-Bashir's arrest and added that President Zuma said that he would not allow the arrest to take place.
"Zuma was telling me that one of the NGOs went to court, and I am quite sure they were used by outsiders," Mugabe said in an ANA report.
"He [Zuma] said President Bashir would not be arrested, as he would not allow police here to arrest him."
The International Criminal Court called on South Africa to arrest Al-Bashir after it indicted the Sudanese leader for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the country. South Africa is a member of the ICC and was obliged to arrest Al=Bashir and hand him over to the ICC when he arrived in Johannesburg to attend the AU Summit.
A South African court ordered Al-Bashir not to flee but he ignored the court order and left the country on Monday before the court could rule on his arrest warrant.
President Mugabe then hit out at the ICC, saying that it was not wanted in Africa at all.
"This is not the headquarters of the ICC, we don’t want it in this region at all. There is a view that we should withdraw from the ICC… unfortunately, the treaty that set up the court was not signed by the AU, but by individual countries," Mugabe added.
AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma added that the organisation had no issue with Al-Bashir attending the summit and that the AU had nothing to do with the ICC.
"Sudan is a member of the AU and he [Bashir] always attends, I don't know what the fuss is all about," Dlamini-Zuma said in the ANA report.
"When a country prepares to host, it signs an agreement with the AU on what is expected of it and the country hosts according to the requirements of the AU."
"The AU has nothing to do with the ICC, the ICC has states as parties to it, AU is not a state so there was nothing new regarding President Bashir as he always attends the meeting anywhere in the continent," Dlamini-Zuma said.