On Sunday, during a briefing in Midrand, where the African National Congress is holding its National General Council meeting, Obed Bapela, ANC’s international relations subcommittee chairperson, said the ruling party, ANC, wants South Africa to commence the process of retreating from the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the reason that the ICC has lost its direction.
Bapela said the principles that led South Africa to be a member of the ICC continue to be effective and applicable although ICC has lost its direction as it is no longer following that standard which is fair to all of its members. He continued to say a number of countries which refused to be members of the ICC still have the power to refer matters to the court. Bapela said South Africa will continue to carry the flag of human rights and completion to the mass killing of people since the decision of retreating from the ICC was not a selfish one.
“We will always carry the African agenda, understanding that we are in a world where others trample on some of the issues that we stand for,” said Bapela. He also said “South Africa still holds the flag of human rights, we are not lowering it, we will continuously hold it high.” Bapela went to say although South Africa had given itself into taking part in the ICC, some countries only attended to their own interests before the world’s interests.
It was said that the retreating process would not be a rapid one by Maite Nkoana-Mashabane the ANC Women’s League treasurer-general and International Relations Minister. Nkoana-Mashabane said the matter was already on the agenda for the Assembly of State Parties meeting, which will be held in November and would be attended by all ICC members. The matter would also be tabled in January at the African Union Summit.
On the 15th of June, South African government was ordered by the High Court to arrest Omar al-Bashir, the President of Sudan, when he was in South Africa for an African Union summit. Despite the order, the Sudanese President left South Africa. A warrant of arrest for Bashir was issued by the ICC. He was charged with the mass killing of people and crimes of war. The government is said to have acted unconstitutionally by the High Court when it did not arrest Bashir.