No back­ing down on ICC – Molewa

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - TANKISO MAKHETHA tankiso.makhetha@inl.co.za

THE ANC yes­ter­day re­it­er­ated its de­ci­sion on the gov­ern­ment with­draw­ing South Africa’s mem­ber­ship from the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court.

En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Edna Molewa said the gov­ern­ment was not plan­ning to re­view its de­ci­sion on the ICC.

It came un­der fire after al­low­ing Su­dan’s Pres­i­dent Omar al-Bashir to leave this coun­try de­spite a court or­der bar­ring him.

Al-Bashir faces two war­rants of ar­rest is­sued by the ICC and it was ex­pected that South Africa, as a sig­na­tory to the Rome Statute, would ar­rest him dur­ing a sum­mit of the AU in Pre­to­ria in June 2015.

He is fac­ing charges of geno­cide, war crimes and crimes against hu­man­ity re­lated to the con­flict in Dar­fur.

Molewa, who is also the chair­per­son of the ANC sub­com­mit­tee on in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, told the me­dia in Joburg they were not back­ing down on the ICC mat­ter.

“For the ANC sub­com­mit­tee, the man­date to with­draw from the ICC was de­rived from our own struc­tures. There has not been any re­view of that man­date,” she said.

“We un­der­stood that man­date to be say­ing that as the ANC, we need to en­sure that we con­sult at an African Union level, which has been hap­pen­ing since the de­ci­sion was made.

“We also needed to en­sure that the dis­cus­sion was hap­pen­ing at an ICC level on some pos­si­ble amend­ments to the statutes…”

Molewa said dis­cus­sions had also been tak­ing place with other ICC mem­ber coun­tries re­lated to is­sues sur­round­ing im­mu­ni­ties.

In April, Dire Tladi, ad­viser to Min­is­ter of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions Maite Nkoana-Masha­bane, ar­gued at the ICC there was no duty un­der law on South Africa to ar­rest a serv­ing head of state such as Al-Bashir.

“That part that deals with im­mu­ni­ties is the is­sue. We have had dis­cus­sions with sev­eral coun­tries for that to be amended,” Molewa said.

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