Public Protector candidate quizzed over role in al-Bashir saga
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Parliament – Executive Director of the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC), Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, on Thursday night stuck to her guns as MPs interviewing her for the position of public protector challenged her organisations litigation against the South African government compelling it to execute an International Criminal Court warrant of arrest on Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.
Ramjathan-Keogh, a human rights lawyer, defended the SALC’s decision to take on the government, saying: “There were several options available to the State. They could have asked him not to come. They could have arrested him when he arrived..they chose to do none of this.”
“The State failed in its obligation and the SALC was holding the State accountable.”
Several African National Congress MPs questioned where her organisation was getting its funding, with the ruling party’s Amos Masondo going as far as asking whether she and the SALC was foreign-controlled.
“I’m surprised at this question and I take deep offence at this question Mr Masondo. My organisation is not foreign-controlled. We are an independent human rights organisation that is working toward the Constitution of this country and the constitutions of all other countries we operate in,” said Ramjathan-Keogh.
She said her organisation had no political affiliations in South Africa or in the 10 Southern African countries it operated from.
African News Agency