War crimes judges ruled yesterday that South Africa flouted its duties to the International Criminal Court in 2015 by failing to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, wanted on genocide charges.
The widely expected judgment slapped South Africa for failing in its obligations and hindering the work of the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal, of which it is a founding member.
"The chamber concludes that, by not arresting Omar al-Bashir while he was on its territory.South Africa failed to comply with the court's request for the arrest and surrender" of Bashir, said the presiding judge, Cuno Tarfusser.
This was "contrary" to the provisions of the court's guiding Rome Statute and prevented it from seeking to prosecute Bashir on 10 charges of war crimes, including three of genocide in Sudan's western Darfur region.
But the judges stopped short of referring the matter to the UN Security Council for further action, with Tarfusser saying "a referral would be of no consequence".