President Jacob Zuma has reportedly told the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa that it is the belief and decision of his government that it is impossible for South Africa to continue its membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Zuma’s statement may be traced back to the decision in October by African National Congress (ANC) and National General Council ( NGC) that SA withdraw from the tribunal.
The ANC explained that it has taken the decision to withdraw the country from ICC because other countries have not followed the court’s principles but concentrated on their selfish interests.
The decision was taken at the party’s National General Council (NGC) after the court demanded an explanation with regards to why Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir was allowed to leave South Africa despite a request from the ICC that he should be arrested.
The International Relations Commissions head for ANC, Obed Bapela said they took this decision because other countries do not really follow founding principles which the court was built on.
“We are also in the resolution that parliament must look at the law on the Rome Statute and re-align it to the issue of respecting immunities.”
He also said South Africa will follow the necessary processes to leave the court.
Kenya is leading the charge for African nations to quit the ICC and Zuma reportedly told his African counterparts that South Africa is seriously reviewing its participation in the Rome Statute, giving effect to the ICC, and will announce its decision in due course.
The chairperson of AU commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told reporters after the summit that the member states of AU could consider withdrawal if the ICC behaves in such a way that leaves countries with a decision to choose between the AU and the tribunal.