But this would be done in a responsible and cautious manner, the minister said at a press briefing in Pretoria on the outcome of the just-concluded summit of the African Union (AU) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the weekend.


South Africa, she said, is still consulting with the ICC on the possible pullout.

“We will make sure that we consult with the important agencies and make a conclusion at the end,”the minister said.

She was echoing the views of President Jacob Zuma who said during the AU summit that South Africa considers it impossible, under the circumstances,to continue its participation in the ICC, also known as the Rome Statute.

“South Africa is seriously reviewing its participation in the Rome Statute and will announce its decision in due course,”Zuma said.

The unfairness of the ICC was one of the topics discussed at the AU summit which raised Africa’s growing concerns with the manner in which the ICC has conducted itself in relation to African countries, according to Nkoana-Mashabane.

This was not a South African issue alone but was also noted by other African Union member states, the minister said.

“Africa feels very disappointed with the way business is conducted in the ICC. With 34 of the 54 of our (AU) member states being members of the Rome Statute, we thought that was to show that Africans do not want and do not believe in impunity. However, what we are observing is more and more of what is called an ‘African criminal court’,” the minister said.

South Africa has been at logger heads with the ICC over a warrant by the organization to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bahir during an AU summit in Johannesburg in June last year.

The ICC accuses al-Bahir of committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. As a signatory to the Rome Statute, South Africa was expected to arrest him during his visit to South Africa, but Pretoria didn’t take any action despite a ruling by the Gauteng High Court of South Africa that he not leave the country.

South Africa let go of al-Bashir, saying that under the AU rules, no organization can arrest any sitting head of state in African countries.

South Africa was the first African country to sign up to the ICC and adopted the court’s founding Rome Statute into domestic law.

The ruling African National Congress has urged the government to “contemplate” to pull out or review its membership with the ICC because the organization is “dangerous” and “arrogant”, treating the African continent unequally. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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