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Will they go or stay? South African President Cyril Ramaphosa this week said he would pull his country out of the International Criminal Court. Then he said that he would not. South Africa has had a fractious relationship with the Hague-based war crimes court, and the issue will come to a head in August with a possible visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is wanted by the ICC over suspected war crimes.
Ramaphosa said on Tuesday that the ruling African National Congress The (ANC) would aim to revoke South Africa’s membership of the ICC, which hears cases of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.
But on Wednesday, Ramaphosa’s office said it had made a mistake, citing a communication error from the ANC.
The ANC had earlier told reporters that the issue of South Africa’s withdrawal from the ICC was raised at the weekend meeting of its National Executive Council.
Questioned by a journalist, Ramaphosa said that the ANC had decided that it was “prudent that South Africa should opt out of this.” ICC,
But the president said he “rUnfortunately, the President accidentally confirmed a similar position,
President Ramaphosa’s spokesman Vincent Magwenya just released a statement that both the President and the ANC SG made a mistake in withdrawing from the ICC. pic.twitter.com/SRPICslqxd
— Aldrin Sampear (@AldrinSampear) April 25, 2023
South Africa will remain in the ICC
South Africa will remain in the ICC, the president said, in line with a Resolution by the National Conference of the ANC in December To abandon a previous decision to withdraw.
South Africa had started the process of Leaving ICC in 2016Following a controversy a year earlier over whether or not to arrest Omar al-Bashir, the then President of Sudan, who was in South Africa for an African Union summit.
Bashir was the subject of an ICC arrest warrant for alleged war crimes and, as a signatory to the ICC, South Africa was bound to comply with the warrant.
But it refused. It did not arrest Bashir and it began the process of leaving the ICC, which it accused of having double standards.
The ANC decided in December to abandon withdrawal – which was ruled unconstitutional by a domestic court – and instead try Change the organization from within.
The Presidency said on Wednesday that South Africa would work towards establishing an African Continental Criminal Court that would complement the ICC as a court of last resort.
Will South Africa Arrest Putin?
Meanwhile, Putin, invited to a summit in South Africa of the BRICS group of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in August, is the subject of An ICC warrant issued in Marchis, who is accused of Forced deportation of children from the Russian occupation zone in Ukraine – a war crime.
Russia denies any crimes, and says the ICC has no jurisdiction because Russia is not a member.
Asked whether South Africa would arrest Putin when he arrived at the summit, Ramaphosa said the matter was under consideration.
ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula had previously announced that Putin could come to the country “at any time”.
The Kremlin has said Putin will decide later whether to attend the summit. He has not traveled outside Russia since the warrant was issued.
Russian relations with South Africa
South Africa and Russia have close ties dating back decades when Russia supported the ANC’s fight against apartheid.
South Africa has other countries did not follow Condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying it wanted to remain neutral and preferred negotiations to end the war.
ramaphosa He said he had spoken to Putin several times and that his message was clear that “need to talk”.