ANC wants SA to leave the ICC

File picture: President Cyril Ramaphosa engages media. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

File picture: President Cyril Ramaphosa engages media. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Apr 25, 2023


President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that the ANC has decided that South Africa should pull out of the International Criminal Court.

This is the second time the ANC has taken this decision after the initial one in 2016.

This was after the ANC government had come under fire from the opposition for failing to arrest the former president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, in 2015.

But at the party’s conference in Nasrec last December, it decided to withdraw the decision to pull out of the ICC.

After the ANC National Executive Committee meeting at the weekend, the party decided to leave the ICC.

Ramaphosa, who was hosting his counterpart from Finland, Sauli Niinisto, on Tuesday, said the ANC has decided to withdraw from the ICC for a number of reasons.

Finland only recently Nato after many years of staying neutral.

Niinisto said after the attack on Ukraine by Russia last year, they saw the immediate need to join Nato because of the security threat and to guarantee its own security.

South Africa is hosting the BRICS summit in August, where leaders of these countries are expected to attend.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin is expected to join the summit.

But Ramaphosa said the issue of Putin’s attendance was still under consideration. Putin has been charged by the ICC.

In the past, the government had said it would obtain legal advice on this.

Ramaphosa on Tuesday confirmed that South Africa is pulling out of the ICC.

“The governing party, the ANC, has taken that decision that it is prudent that South Africa should pull out of the ICC, largely because of the manner in which the ICC has been seen to be dealing with these types of problems,” said Ramaphosa.

There has been a complaint in the past that African leaders have not been fairly treated by the ICC.

Ramaphosa said there was a view that the ICC has not been treating some leaders in a fair manner.

“Our view is that we would like this matter of unfair treatment to be properly discussed. But in the meantime, the governing party has decided once again that there should be a pull out. That’s a matter that will be taken forward,” said Ramaphosa.

He reiterated that there should be peace in Ukraine.

Ramaphosa said he has spoken to Putin and his counterpart from Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, about the need for negotiations.

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