South African police asked to arrest Tony Blair
The former British prime minister is due to speak at a function in Johannesburg later this week
An arrest warrant for former British prime minister Tony Blair is being sought by a group called the Society for the Protection of our Constitution (Spoc).
“We filed a complaint with the SA Police Service yesterday and a 'crimes against the state' docket was opened,” Muhammed Vawda, secretary of Spoc, said on Wednesday.
“A case number was issued and it will go to the National Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision.”
Blair and former US president George W Bush were found guilty in absentia of crimes against humanity by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in November last year.
The court apparently acknowledged that the verdict was non-enforceable, but the findings were reported to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Blair is in South Africa this week as one of the speakers at the Discovery Leadership Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu withdrew from the summit because of Blair’s attendance.
The Muslim political party Al Jama-ah said it planned to protest against Blair when he spoke at the summit.
Vawda said South Africa was legally bound to the requirements of international law, as it fell under the United Nations jurisdiction, and therefore was compelled to co-operate. South Africa must operate without fear, favour or prejudice, he said, adding that the judiciary, police and National Directorate for Public Prosecutions must not bow down to political pressure.
National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Phindile Louw said she would comment on the matter after checking on the complaint.