SA revokes its intent to withdraw from the ICC

2017-03-08 10:24


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

Johannesburg - The South African government has revoked its intent to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Crimes Court (ICC), according to a document seen by News24 which was apparently issued by the United Nations.

A senior government official has confirmed that a letter to the United Nations dated March 7 was sent by the South African government citing the High Court in Pretoria judgment from February 22, in the case between the DA and the executive, as its reason for the reversal.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services Mthunzi Mhaga could not be reached for comment.

The court ruled that government's decision to withdraw from ICC was unconstitutional and invalid.

- Read more: High Court rules on ICC withdrawal

Deputy Judge President Phineas Mojapelo ordered President Jacob Zuma and the ministers of justice and international relations to revoke the notice of withdrawal.

During the hearing in December, Mojapelo told senior counsel Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett, who represented Zuma and the ministers of justice and international relations, that the executive's function was to seek public consultation.

He challenged Gauntlett's argument that it was the executive's prerogative to enter into, and withdraw from treaties that the country had signed and that Parliament only needed to give its approval.

"It's expected that the executive go back to Parliament. We have rights, we have obligations, and we have Parliament," he said, adding that decisions executed by the executive must be "on the basis of the expressed authority of the Constitution".

Executive seeking to 'bypass' Parliament

Mojapelo said if the authority was not expressed in the Constitution, it must go to Parliament. Gauntlett asked the court to dismiss the DA's case with costs.

In his rebuttal, Advocate Steven Budlender, for the DA, said the letter the executive had sent to Parliament contained no suggestion that the decision to withdraw from the ICC would be debated.

"It does not suggest that Parliament has to approve it. The effect is to bypass Parliament. It is simply telling Parliament for informational purposes," Budlender told the court.

Budlender said it was irrational for the executive to unbind from the ICC because it had no alternative.

On October 21 Justice Minister Michael Masutha told reporters 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, the ICC's founding treaty. It would take a year for the decision to come into effect.

The decision followed several court judgments that the government violated the law by not arresting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to South Africa for an African Union summit in June last year.

The ICC had issued warrants for his arrest and wanted him to stand trial on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  icc

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.


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
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.