The minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe has announced that South Africa will review its participation in the International Criminal Court.
Small business development minister, Lindiwe Zulu, said during a parliamentary debate “Africa’s newest state‚ the Republic of South Sudan‚ would not be in existence today had the parties placed the issue of justice above all others.
“This does not mean that there is no role for justice for victims of conflicts. It means that recognising the complexities inherent in conflict resolution‚ it is best to address the question of justice in the context of a political settlement.”
The main thrust of her argument was that Africa required a special political dispensation.
“It should therefore be noted that‚ our efforts for the renewal of the continent will remain void if the fundamentals elements which include peace and stability are not realised. Peace and stability is therefore an important ingredient for development,” she said.
When the speaker called time on her, she concluded that South Africa would not allow the prosecution of a sitting head of state.
The consensus reached between the ANC and EFF is that the International Criminal Court has an anti-African bias, that it is tool of western powers to undermine “the weak” as Mantashe’s stated.
The largest bloc of countries consists of 34 African states, followed by 27 Latin American and Caribbean States. There are 19 from the Asia-Pacific region and 18 from eastern Europe. A further 25 come from western Europe and elsewhere.
Under the ICC’s Rome Statute terms‚ heads of state do not enjoy immunity.
Radebe said SA has to balance its obligations to the ICC with its obligations to the AU and individual states. In addition‚ he asserted‚ the ICC must have been aware that SA‚ in execution of the warrant‚ would breach its agreement with the AU.
President Jacob Zuma’s government is facing the risk of criminal charges over its handling of Al Bashir’s departure from the country last week.
Pretoria High Court Judge Dunstan Mlambo yesterday said the departure of the Sudanese president – who is wanted for war crimes – despite a court ruling barring him from leaving pending a decision on whether to execute a warrant of arrest against him‚ demonstrated the state’s disregard for the order.
The judge issued a grave warning‚ stating: “If the state or an organ of state‚ or state officials don’t abide by court orders‚ the democratic edifice will crumble stone by stone until it collapses and chaos ensues”.