Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to South Africa is still “under consideration”.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Putin in March, meaning South Africa, due to host the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) bloc summit this year, would have to detain him on arrival.
The warrant against Putin stems from accusations that Russia unlawfully deported Ukrainian children.
“We have noted what the ICC has said in relation to President Putin. And we ourselves are still discussing this matter.
“It is a matter that is still under consideration. We await all the Brics members on whether they are coming or not,” Ramaphisa said while answering a question from the media, during a State visit by Namibian President Hage Geingob on Thursday.
Ramaphosa says BRICS extends invitations to all the member states. “We have noted what the ICC has said in relation to President Putin and we are still discussing this matter. It’s a matter that is still under consideration.” @TimesLIVE pic.twitter.com/s0MzSi5TN3
— Amanda Khoza – The Journalist (@MandaKhoza) April 20, 2023
But Ramaphosa’s Namibian counterpart believes South Africa should rather use its own laws to determine Putin’s fate.
Geingob believes South Africa is being targeted by Western nations on the issue, EWN reported.
“South Africa should decide whether they are going to invite Putin. It is a very difficult situation. The other time, it was Omar al-Bashir. So they are targeting you, right?,” the report quoted Geingob as saying.
In 2015, following the controversy over former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who the government allowed to leave South Africa without being detained under International Crimes Court law, the SA government applied to withdraw from the ICC.
However, in 2017 the country revoked its withdrawal after a High Court ruling found that the move was unconstitutional.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu