Zuma defends AU decision on ICC

2013-11-06 22:12

Cape Town - A decision by the African Union (AU) to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to defer cases against sitting heads of state was not made to shield African leaders from prosecution, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

Replying to questions in the National Assembly, Zuma said the decision was based on "Africa’s quest for an equitable world order".

Zuma said he supported the views of several heads of state on the continent, who had stated that Africa was being unfairly targeted by the ICC.

"It is also based on the need to cement hard-won peace and stability in areas which have been ravaged by conflict," Zuma said.

The AU decision was not meant to create an impression that certain leaders were above the law.

"The African Union is committed to equality before the law and to fighting impunity, hence the process of expanding the mandate of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, which would help us promote finding African solutions to African problems," Zuma said.

Prosecuting sitting heads of state at the ICC could disrupt governance, and have a negative affect on peace and stability in countries previously wracked by violence.

Zuma was of the opinion that this decision would not lead to sitting leaders extending their terms of office, as suggested by opposition parties.

"The African Union has its own instruments for promoting the adherence to democratic principles, such as the charter on good democracy, elections and governance and the peer review mechanisms."

The prosecution of African leaders could have unintended consequences.

"What we are guarding against is the situation where countries that had moved to a semblance of stability suddenly regress due to a vacuum that would be created when leaders are taken away to stand trial," Zuma said.

Zuma supported a request sent to the UN Security Council asking that cases against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto be deferred.

Kenyatta and Ruto face trial for crimes against humanity in connection with violence in the country after the 2007 elections.

  • Ed Vermaak - 2013-11-06 22:25

    JZ - you are a liar.

  • Jon Low - 2013-11-06 22:25

    "...finding African solutions to African problems" Poaching his reviled predecessor's words verbatim? And since when have egregious human rights abuses been an "African problem"? They are called "human rights" for a reason -- they pertain to ALL humans, African or otherwise. They're not an African problem but a humankind problem, and therefore they deserve to be treated as a worldwide issue in need of a worldwide solution, not one in need of only an "African solution" (whatever dodgy thing that might be).

      Sipho Mnguni - 2013-11-07 05:48

      @Jon Louw; this exposes their lack of knowledge of the Fundamental human rights law and the International law. Fundamental human rights are universal. The law states categorically clear that the fact that one was born human they have these rights. No one, not even the government could take them away.

      Sipho Mnguni - 2013-11-07 06:26

      @Jon Louw; this exposes their lack of knowledge of the Fundamental human rights law and the International law. Fundamental human rights are universal. The law states categorically clear that the fact that one was born human they have these rights. No one, not even the government could take them away.

  • Davo James - 2013-11-06 22:25

    Here we go again. What is the African solution that we hear so much about? Mr Zuma, what is your suggestion for dealing with these criminal heads of state? A dance party down at Nkandla with you and Uncle Bob?

      Sipho Mnguni - 2013-11-07 05:40

      @Davo: you forgot to mention karaoke singing and giggling like a teenager who has just fallen in love for the first time.

      Sipho Mnguni - 2013-11-07 06:26

      @Davo: you forgot to mention karaoke singing and giggling like a teenager who has just fallen in love for the first time.

  • Craig Elliott - 2013-11-06 22:25

    Can't he just have his day in court and serve his time please !

      Craig Elliott - 2013-11-06 22:26

      This 'smart face' he pulls as above just makes him look more doff !

  • Jason Johnson - 2013-11-06 22:26

    Please just leave the International Cricket Council alone. The Proteas have enough trouble without your interference.

      James Mabote - 2013-11-06 22:31


      Ramosoeu Matli - 2013-11-06 22:34

      Hahaha.... very funny!

      Sydney Mavhungu Sadiki - 2013-11-06 22:42

      @lol johnson are you out of your mind?

      Jomar De Lange - 2013-11-06 23:15


      Phinny Veracious Kgaphola - 2013-11-07 00:39

      Nice one pal. Very funny indeed.

      Denise Frankenberg Papas - 2013-11-07 08:13

      Jason, some people just don't get it

  • FinalJustice - 2013-11-06 22:28

    Pres. Zuma is but 1 of the reasons why the ICC has to prosecute African leaders for crimes relating to autocratic governmental policies. Does it surprise anyone why he would support such a motion? Yet they keep on blaming Western civilasation for their own hidden agendas. Maybe better if the Chinese take over this continent, Africans choose to be oppressed/discriminated against; at least they can blame it on anything else, except their own incompetence!

  • randomhero6661 - 2013-11-06 22:31

    This oke, african this and african that... maar then he disses malawian roads that are african... You are as useful as wet toilet paper mr president...

  • Khuliso Mutsha - 2013-11-06 22:33

    AU will live to regret that descision, it is wrong for killers to be treated as if they did nothing wrong, while waiting for them to retire so that they can then stand trial, thats is the most rediculous descision ever taken by AU, infact thats Thabo Mbeki's leadership style if Nkosazana is in charge, Mbeki is is charge of that body. As far far as i know, ICC does not charge people without mandate of their countries concern, countries themselves refer cases there, why should it then be wrong for sitting head of states to face the music.

      gobozakamashaba - 2013-11-06 22:44

      Khuliso I can't believe you that ignorant and blindfolded to believe African leaders must be tried and sentenced by the west. This is strictly established to persecute Africans and Africans only. Ask yourself why Charles Taylor is locked in a British prison. Ask yourself why Bush is not called to stand trial for crimes against humanity.

      Thukhe Ndlovu Farmer - 2013-11-06 22:44

      George Bush comes to mind, where is he? In court in a cage?

      JMaree - 2013-11-06 22:57

      Agree, using presidents of countries outside Africa as a counter is pointless, (even though I wouldn't mind Bush, Blair and a few other to face the music) Even though we are part of the world economy, we should be more worried about what happens on our continent. We should at least try to keep our side clean, then the rest of the world won't be able to point to out faults and failures as a reason to ignore our ideas when we want to play a bigger part or have a bigger say in world events...

      Phinny Veracious Kgaphola - 2013-11-07 00:35

      Mr JMaree I partially agree with you and at-least you are trying to show that you understand the whole idea of UNFARNESS prosecution or treatment by the controversial ICC on the African continent. BUT I disagree when you say "using presidents of countries outside Africa's borders is pointless". The problem here is that those presidents outside Africa's borders are the very same people who cause wars outside their own countries. Like George Bush for instance, he never committed crime against humanity on Americans, NO, he did it outside America and that is why we want him to be prosecuted. It is USA's duty to cause wars across the globe. If you don't know, USA should've killed Syrian President by now if Russia has never intervened.

  • Lati Wa Ga Malema - 2013-11-06 22:38

    The less i hear abt this name (zuma) the better

  • lacrimosewolf - 2013-11-06 22:45

    "..committed to equality before the law" but AU will pick and choose which laws. "..has its own instruments for promoting the adherence to democratic principles" Zimbabwe and Swaziland are shining examples of these instruments. "The prosecution of African leaders could have unintended consequences." Where would Africa be without all its tyrants, despots, murderers and homicidal maniacs? Probably at home in the land of their birth living good lives, instead of climbing into leaky boats, hitching rides on the outside of 'planes, dying of hunger, thirst and dread diseases. There has yet to be "a semblance of stability". Just ask South Africans, we live with instability every single day and yet none of our leaders has yet to stand trial.

      Sipho Mnguni - 2013-11-07 05:31

      @lacrimosewolf: masterpiece! Who can sum better than the Wolf. Finding "African solutions to the Problem" simply means impunity. "Equality before the Law" in Africa means some are more equal than others, period. If according to Zuma's logic 'sitting heads of states should not be prosecuted' what happen to those who rule forever? When would they be prosecuted. Suggesting an African version ICC is a sick joke because Africa is the land of the dictators and election riggers.

      Sipho Mnguni - 2013-11-07 06:27

      @lacrimosewolf: masterpiece! Who can sum better than the Wolf. Finding "African solutions to the Problem" simply means impunity. "Equality before the Law" in Africa means some are more equal than others, period. If according to Zuma's logic 'sitting heads of states should not be prosecuted' what happen to those who rule forever? When would they be prosecuted. Suggesting an African version ICC is a sick joke because Africa is the land of the dictators and election riggers.

  • Longile Bongani - 2013-11-06 22:48

    Finding African solutions to African problems means quite simply that in African culture, it is accepted that political leaders are actually what used to be Royal African Chiefs. They are not obliged to do anything for their people, they simply rule over their people, who must bow down to their every whim and fancy. Pay lots of taxes for the Chiefs personal use and understand this is African culture. Come on Zuma, this is not some village in Malawi, this is Johannesburg, welcome to civilization. You want all the trappings of your first class country you have inherited, then you can be expected to behave like a first class citizen

      Jomar De Lange - 2013-11-06 23:17

      Sad but true

  • William Hallett - 2013-11-06 22:54

    Zuma is as treacherous as a two headed pit viper!!!!

  • gobozakamashaba - 2013-11-06 22:55

    Why should African leaders be tried by the west? Why is Bush still leaving in luxury after killing so many innocent lives? Why is Charles Taylor rotting in a British prison? Look at Mugabe now, he didn't sign any ICC crap cause he had forseen it's dangerous intentions. Wake up Africans and stand your ground.

      ARTFUL DODGER. - 2013-11-06 23:14

      Gobozo, You are a prize idiot delux. and do yourself a favour and look up what A BOZO IS !!!

      Bethwell Xiviti - 2013-11-06 23:44

      That's an honest truth Goboza. I don't understand why "pink noses" are always negative, maybe it's because they aren't Africans.

      Phinny Veracious Kgaphola - 2013-11-07 00:14

      Goboza. You are definitely right. This controversial ICC is targeting Africa. I guess if this court indeed follows the truth, they know where George Bush is currently.

  • Bethwell Xiviti - 2013-11-06 23:00

    I personally believe President J.Zuma is right on this matter. African leaders are being targeted by the International Criminal Court...Tony Blair, Barrack Obama, George W Bush and other American/European leaders haven't been tried for their involvement on the crimes against humanity.

      Phinny Veracious Kgaphola - 2013-11-06 23:13

      I agree with u 100% Xibiti. But unfortunately Africans aren't conscious about these kind of issues. George W Bush is the devil's best son but he's still living a luxurious life. Like you said, there are many Europeans who committed crime against humanity but they weren't prosecuted because they are 'Whites' or Europeans. This is absolutely unfair. I think I will be better if Africa can permanently quit out of that thing for good.

      Bethwell Xiviti - 2013-11-06 23:38

      @Kgaphola: you got it right and I agree with you, the Europeans/Americans are capable of resorting to evil acts to feed their stinky mouths. They even say "war is good business". @Jamba: you're being "less-clever" by suggesting Bush and Blair have no involvements in Africa's mess. That's so "less-clever", if you know what I mean.

      Phinny Veracious Kgaphola - 2013-11-06 23:46

      Bethwell, could you please bring Jamba to me, I will handle her for you. Jamba, stop complicating things here my sister. We are NOT denying that many African leaders commit crime against humanity and kill people. No, we are only concerned about fairness. There are many African leaders I know myself who even deserve death penalty like Idi Amin of Uganda. We are only worried about the unfair special treatment in African continent by ICC. Remember that this issues are politically motivated and have long story so I and Bethwell don't have enough precious time to explain to you. Everything happening across the globe need your thorough understanding.

  • Phinny Veracious Kgaphola - 2013-11-06 23:01

    Here I agree with Zuma and AU. Is not bcs I support African leaders for killing people or committing crimes whatsoever. The problem is that ICC is indeed targeting Africans and everyone knows that. That court was established to execute Africans ONLY. I wish Africa could even permanently quit from being part of that controversial court. If INDEED that court is objective, George W Bush should've been prosecuted. Eintlek, he should've been punished for the worse crime ever against humanity. That's the truth.

      Phinny Veracious Kgaphola - 2013-11-06 23:30

      Jamba or whoever you are. I don't disagree that there are African puppets who are part of ICC prosecuting authority. What I'm saying is why George W Bush wasn't prosecuted if indeed the court is objective? Besides, there many examples except Bush. Don't shun my point Mr/Mrs Jamba or whoever you are. I'm not actually defending Africans like I said. I hate it when African leaders commit crime and some of the deserve punishment BUT the Europeans should be prosecuted as well. I want FAIRNESS, that's all.

  • Longile Bongani - 2013-11-06 23:17

    Let the ICC be a clear warning to you JZ. If you want to travel and your country to do business with the civilized world, then I suggest you understand the ICC is there for everyones benefit. Anyone claiming they don't want to be held accountable to the ICC can stop doing business with ICC supportive countries. Africa cant even feed itself, let alone find African solutions to African problems. The rest of the world would be only too happy to see Africa finally standing on its own 2 feet. So whilst you are so heavily reliant on the rest of the world for your very survival, I suggest you stop moaning and play by the rules. Have you forgotten you owe your freedom and independence to the international community. Without the sanctions and political pressure from these ICC countries, the ANC would still be nothing more than underground terrorist organization. where is your respect and gratitude??

  • Karabo26 - 2013-11-06 23:37

    How dare you speak of equality before the law! Give us the spy tapes first BaBa, then you can sing and dance to mshini wam all you want. You can't fool everyone all the time!

  • WildCatSal - 2013-11-07 00:04

    News24. Stop deleting my comments! Rather focus on all this bogus scam adverts dotting your forum comments which you so boldly leave un-deleted. Makes me wonder where these "adverts" come from. Pfffft!

  • Valerie Vale - 2013-11-07 00:45

    South Africa is doomed, not worth disgusting!

  • Ian Lowe - 2013-11-07 00:47

    Special cells for shower heads ..... Now who will build that ? The Hague or the UK ? Hell we are a liability .....

  • Andrew Grieveson - 2013-11-07 04:30

    Africa loves dictators I think a tribal tradition . The more abuse the stronger your hold much like the abused wife , they just keep coming back ! Bizarre !

  • Johan Van Der Vyver - 2013-11-07 06:28


  • Winifred Watson - 2013-11-07 06:50

    Zuma has the AU sewn up in his pocket, that why he sent Dlamini Zuma there. She will pave the way for whatever he wants. Today we see so many atrocities happening world wide in war zones. War is one thing but raping woman and children, mutilating people is NOT war.

  • Lunetic Mental - 2013-11-07 06:51

    We can understand his remark...The ICC may just found african leaders guilty and send them to jail. Now who would want that?

  • Truth.speak - 2013-11-07 07:08

    What utter b*llsh*t

  • Anton Schmahl - 2013-11-07 08:02

    Mr President, If you would like to insist on Africa resolving their own problems, do so and also then remember then not to ask other continents for monetary assistance. Keep that also in Africa.

  • mark.heath.3388 - 2013-11-07 09:04

    Zuma you complete and utter idiot....need I say more.

  • Travis Vermaak - 2013-11-07 09:44

    Every time Zuma opens his mouth I absolutely cringe at what comes out. What a farce!

  • Terry-Lee Heuer - 2013-11-07 11:32

    Yet Africa wants the rest of the world's money to assist with HIV/Aids, poverty etc. I don't believe the people are seeing any relief, therefore Govt's should be charged with violation of human rights!!! Please correct me if I'm wrong!!!

  • Raul Curado - 2013-11-20 22:01

    This was the chance African leaders had to show adherence to democracy and justice. The AU decison just shows the state of this continent and the protectinism that the despots, tyrans,thieves and corrupt leaders have. Kenya have number one and number two facing the music. Well done ICC. We have our number one in wait to face our local music...

  • Mike Stowell - 2014-03-31 14:32

    Why dont we put Bush and Blair up for genocide in Iraq and Afhaghanistan kikikikiki. And the Western countries for 2 centuries of slavery. Justice should be equal for all not only meant for weaker nations

  • Malope Sandhis Lebeloane Matlala - 2014-03-31 15:38

    no body take this guy c r s anymore

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