South Africa's ANC Lawmakers Block Bid to Impeach President Zuma

  • Opposition DA sought censure for letting Umar al-Bashir leave
  • Assembly votes against forming panel to consider impeachment

South African lawmakers quashed a proposal by the main opposition party to set up a panel to consider impeaching President Jacob Zuma for allowing the government to ignore a court order to arrest Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir.

The Democratic Alliance failed to gain the support of a third of the 400 lawmakers in the National Assembly needed to establish a committee to decide if Zuma deliberately broke the law, according to a vote in parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday. Some opposition parties sided with the African National Congress or abstained.

Al-Bashir, who has been indicted by The Hague-based court for war crimes and genocide, left South Africa from an air force base on June 15, in defiance of a High Court order to stop his departure. The government, which says the Sudanese president was invited to South Africa by the African Union, is appealing the ruling.