Masutha calls for Parliament to 'assert its constitutional powers' on ICC

2017-01-31 22:31
Michael Masutha

Michael Masutha

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – The process to officially implement the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act Repeal Bill has gotten underway in Parliament.

The bill was introduced to the justice committee on Tuesday, with Justice Minister Michael Masutha appealing for Parliament to "assert its rights".

The committee is set to call for public comments on the bill, before it is processed in Parliament.

"As far as our understanding goes, the critical stage at which we are now is in your hands squarely. And that critical stage is where you have to exercise your parliamentary authority," Masutha said.

Masutha asked that MPs legitimise an executive decision made by the government to withdraw its membership from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The executive has exercised its prerogative after extensive engagement, he said, and decided that South Africa will no longer be a member of the ICC.

Last year Masutha announced that South Africa had initiated the process of withdrawing from the ICC by notifying the United Nations of its intention to revoke its ratification of the Rome Statute, which established the ICC.

Masutha backed by ANC MPs

The decision followed several court judgments that the government violated the law by not arresting ICC-indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to South Africa in June 2015.

Masutha on Tuesday said he could not see how a court could dictate to either the executive or Parliament choices imposed by those who "had the privilege to approach court just because they could".

"I think this Parliament, and this government, must assert its constitutional powers and rights for the good of the people of this country."

ACDP MP Steve Swart raised concerns that South Africa had been part of the delegation that had put together the implementation of the Rome Statute.

"South Africa played a key role in standing against the USA when it wanted to have a less independent court. So it's very sad that we are today sitting with this situation, which is motivated by what happened with al-Bashir," he said.

South Africa's exit could open the door for other countries to leave the ICC, he said, and it would collapse.

The call for the committee to support Cabinet's decision was backed by ANC MPs in the justice committee.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.