South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been largely criticized by civil bodies like AfriForum, which described the move as a step backward from where the country is at present.
AfriForum said the efforts of the South African government to withdraw from the Statute of Roma and consequently the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a step backwards in terms of addressing human rights.
According to report gathered by BuzzSouthAfrica, South Africa plans to finally leave the International Criminal Court (ICC)‚ in a move that critics have said will not bode well for the rule of law.
The report says SA’s intention to leave started when the government was defending its failure to take steps to detain Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to SA in June 2015‚ when there was an ICC warrant for his arrest‚ and despite a High Court ruling that it do so.
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa “has found its obligations with respect to the peaceful resolution of conflicts at times are incompatible with the interpretation given by the ICC of obligations contained in the Rome Statute”.
To this, Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum tasked with International Relations said it is still unclear whether the Department alone has the authority to withdraw the ratification, or if Parliament’s approval is necessary.
“Even so, AfriForum will oppose the process and investigate ways to prevent the execution thereof.”
Bailey said the discord between the ICC and Government caused by SA’s refusal to detain Bashir according to courts order is evident on platforms abroad how South African government officials choose sides to the benefit of countries with doubtful human rights records.
According to her also, withdrawing from ICC proves government’s culture of a lack of accountability, the disastrous consequences of which can be seen locally.
She also argued:
“In a time of economic challenges and internal instability, Government’s focus should indeed be on the promotion of a culture of accountability as well as the expansion of investments by and relations with respected international partners.
“On the other hand, the start of a formal withdrawal process from the Statute and the ICC is yet another step backwards for South Africa to the status of ‘skunk of the world’.”
Afriforum’s argument on the said SA’s withdrawing from ICC is just one of the numerous criticisms against the government. Others even believe the decision is masterminded by the ruling ANC who care less of human rights.