Omar al-Bashir
Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court Reuters

The South African government is to review its membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the wake of its disagreement with the tribunal over its failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Presidency Minister Jeff Radebe said the decision would be made following a cabinet meeting.

"The cabinet has decided that it will review South Africa's participation in the Rome Statutes of the ICC," Radebe told Reuters.

South Africa has become embroiled in a bitter dispute with the international court after it allowed Bashir to leave the country following an African Union summit.

Its courts did eventually order the Sudanese premier's arrest, stating he was not protected by diplomatic immunity, but Bashir had already left the country hours earlier on a jet leaving from a military base.

Bashir is wanted by the ICC on 10 counts including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the Sudanese army's crackdown in Darfur. The UN has said fighting in the impoverished region led to the deaths of 300,000 people and created more than 2m refugees.

The ICC, which is based in The Hague, issued an arrest warrant for Bashir in 2009. He denies the charges.

After Bashir left South Africa unimpeded the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon told reporters in Geneva that the authority of the ICC must be respected and its decisions implemented.