AFRICANGLOBE – President Jacob Zuma recently met Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir “to strengthen co-operation” between the two countries.
They met in China on the sidelines of that country’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Japanese forces in China at the end of World War2.
According to The Presidency, South Africa and Sudan enjoyed “warm relations”, and 16 agreements between the two countries had been signed to date.
“South Africa seeks to further strengthen co-operation with Sudan in the fields of agriculture, agroprocessing, science and technology, energy, infrastructure development, mining and retailing,” the Presidency said.
The two leaders committed themselves to more meetings, at ministerial level, and Zuma accepted an invitation by al-Bashir to visit Sudan.
The meeting took place as the South African government appeals against a high court order that al-Bashir be prevented from leaving South Africa when he was in this country to attend an African Union summit in June.
South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute and al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes and genocide by the International Criminal Court.
The cabinet subsequently said South Africa’s accession to the Rome Statute would be reconsidered.
The Tshwane High Court first ordered that the government keep al-Bashir in the country, and then that it must arrest him. But shortly after the first court order was handed down, on June 15, al-Bashir left the country.
In reaction to this, Judge Dunstan Mlambo warned that the “democratic edifice could crumble” if court orders were violated by the government.
Judges were attacked for their views by a number of ANC and tripartite alliance leaders.
This prompted an unprecedented meeting between the executive and the judiciary.
The meeting was initiated by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who expressed concern about “repeated and unwarranted” attacks on judges by politicians.
Zuma also met Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila in China.
The two countries are working to implement the Grand Inga hydropower project and on brokering peace in the eastern Congo and the Great Lakes region.
By: Natasha Marrian
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