Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s Deputy President, has been protected from answering a question on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s controversial visit to South Africa for the African Union Summit.
Thandi Modise, National Council of Provinces Chairperson, on Wednesday in Cape Town, ruled that the matter was before the courts and, as a result, was sub judice.
The Deputy President was asked by an opposition member, Jacques Julius of the Democratic Alliance, why the government permitted the International Criminal Court fugitive to leave the country.
Ramaphosa was also asked explain the steps he would take to ensure that those who were in contempt of court for refusing to adhere to Sunday’s North Gauteng High Court order would be held responsible.
Modise said the investigation had to be concluded, before Ramaphosa, who was also the special envoy to Sudan, could address the matter.
Al-Bashir flew back to Sudan on Monday, hours before the court ruled that he should be arrested, on the warrant issued by the ICC.
South Africa government has said it would investigate how Al-Bashir slipped out of the country, in spite of the court order.
The South African Litigation Centre (SALC), which brought the urgent order, said there appeared to be a prima facie case that the order banning Al-Bashir from leaving the country was violated.
Judge Dunstan Mlambo has given Pretoria until Sunday, to file an affidavit, and fully explain when and through which exit point Al-Bashir had left.
Observers believe that this opens the possibility that the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, and other officials could be prosecuted for aiding his departure.