In the aftermath of the much vaunted entrance and subsequent departure of the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir who had come into South Africa for the African Union summit that was held in Johannesburg recently, a member of the ruling African National Congress in South Africa has labelled the International Criminal Court ” a dangerous tool in the hands of the powerful to destroy the weak.
Speaking on a local radio station, Talk Radio 702, the ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe said that the International Criminal Court was busy focusing on countries that were largely in Africa with some few exceptions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In his defence of the decision taken by the Jacob Zuma Administration not to arrest the Sudanese leader, Mantashe said that, in his opinion, South Africa should have nothing to do with the court as he felt that it was dangerous. He added that, “If I was in government, I would say give notice, get out of that, it was not what was envisioned. It is a tool in the hands of the powerful to destroy the weak and it is a court that is focusing on Africa, Eastern Europe and Middle East,” confirming what had earlier been speculated that the South African government had granted legal immunity to Bashir in order for him to attend the AU Summit.
This follows a case whereby the President Bashir had been invited to attend the AU summit. According to local media, the ANC administration had issued an official invitation to Bashir to attend the AU Summit. However, as soon as the Sudanese president stepped onto South African land, there was a huge uproar on the international scene and the International Criminal Court called on the South African government to arrest him. In addition, the North Gauteng High Court ruled that Bashir should not leave the country until the court had decided on whether South Africa needed to arrest him on behalf of ICC.