ANC reaffirms intent to withdraw from ICC

Cape Town - The African National Congress's sub-committee on international relations has reaffirmed the party's resolution to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ANC's various NEC sub-committees have been meeting this week in the run-up to the party's national elective conference, which commences next Saturday.

Deputy minister of Public Service and Administration Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba on Wednesday said the IR sub-committee reaffirmed the party's 2015 resolution to withdraw from the ICC.

READ: ICC no longer useful - ANC

"Furthermore, South Africa must ratify the Malabo Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights... and encourage the speedy operationalisation of the African Court of Human and People’s Rights."

The proposed African court is seen as a possible replacement for the ICC for African countries, many of which have accused the international body of bias.

Cabinet withdrew its original notice of intention to withdraw from the ICC in March, after the North Gauteng high court in Pretoria ruled that the decision to withdraw unilaterally was invalid.

READ: ICC withdrawal 'unconstitutional and invalid', high court rules

Opposition parties had argued in court that the process should go through Parliament, not Cabinet.

The sub-committee said in June that talks around a new process were ongoing.

Zimbabwe, Morocco, Western Sahara

Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba also read out some of the sub-committee's other key resolutions.

On Zimbabwe, they supported the peaceful transition of power and congratulated the country's citizens for having exercised restraint in the midst of "an extremely turbulent and fluid political situation".

With regards to Morocco and Western Sahara, it resolved to "remain committed to the course of Western Sahara," and believed Morocco’s readmission to the AU should "serve as a catalyst and not a stumbling block".

"The position of the ANC still stands. We have reiterated that we support the struggle of the people of Western Sahara for self-determination," said Miriam Segabutla, another member of the sub-committee.

"We will continue to engage Morocco to respect the United Nations resolution on Western Sahara... but specifically within AU processes."

Brexit, xenophobia, UN

The conference recommended that a coherent communication strategy be developed to tackle xenophobia.

"Such a message should assist South African society to distinguish between xenophobic attitudes/behaviour and criminality, that seek to conceal itself by taking advantage of such attitudes."

The sub-committee also wishes to see no interruption in trade with the United Kingdom once it exits the European Union, its seventh biggest trade partner.

South Africa would also continue to campaign for the reform of the United Nations, especially the Security Council and the Bretton Wood Institutions.

The country would continue to monitor and help co-ordinate programmes in the African Union's 2063 agenda, the continent's 50-year growth plan.

It would also support projects for the yet-to-be-established BRICS bank.

Lastly, like Western Sahara, it also renewed its commitment to support a two-state solution in the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict.

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