No backing down on ICC – Molewa
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.