Cape Town – African Transformation Movement (ATM) leader Vuyo Zungula has called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to withdraw South Africa from the International Criminal Court (ICC) prior to the 15th Brics summit set for later this year.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on 18 March, accusing him of committing war crimes regarding the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.
Since then, the country has been in talks to discuss Putin’s planned visit to the country later this year for this year’s Brics summit in August.
Minister of Internal Relations Naledi Pandor has reiterated that SA and Russia remain on friendly terms, as the country navigates an ICC warrant of arrest for Putin.
In the letter addressed to Ramaphosa, Pandor and Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, Zungula highlighted South Africa’s previous bid to withdraw from the ICC, which was thwarted on a technicality by the High Court in Pretoria in February 2017.
Zungula called on the government to follow correct procedure this time, and dump the Rome Statute of the ICC.
of @ATMovement_SA is calling on President @CyrilRamaphosa & Ministers, @RonaldLamola & Naledi Pandor to urgently resuscitate, seek approval of Parliament & resubmit SA’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the ICC, ahead of the forthcoming BRICS meeting. pic.twitter.com/wfA24Z8OuT
— African Transformation Movement (@ATMovement_SA) April 2, 2023
“It is common cause that the North Gauteng High Court of the Republic of South Africa has on 22 February 2017, issued a judgment in the matter between the Democratic Alliance and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and others and found that the approval of the Parliament of South Africa had to be obtained before the instrument of withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court can be deposited with the United Nations as provided for In Article 127(1) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” Zungula wrote.
However, the High Court ruled in favour of the DA and at the time declared the government’s submission of an instrument of withdrawal from the ICC was “unconstitutional and invalid”.
“In order to remedy this technical defect pointed out by the High Court, the ATM is calling on you to urgently resuscitate the earlier submission by the 5th administration; seek approval from Parliament and on exactly the same grounds that were submitted before, resubmit the withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the ICC accordingly,” Zungula said.
He said that the forthcoming Brics meeting is too important for the country to allow it to be overshadowed by Putin’s absence or arrest in South Africa.
Zungula also warned that an attempt to arrest Putin would be detrimental to the country, as former Russian president and deputy chairperson of the Security Council of Russian, Dmitry Medvedev said the arrest of Putin on foreign social would be interpreted as a “declaration of war”.
Picture: Twitter/ @ZungulaVuyo
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe