The inter-ministerial committee led by Deputy President Paul Mashatile is still investigating various issues around South Africa’s obligation towards the International Criminal Court (ICC).
This was revealed by Director-General of International Relations and Co-operation when he appeared before the Parliamentary committee.
Zane Dangor responded to a question by the DA on the country’s obligation to affect the warrant of arrest issued by the ICC against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Dangor explains a warrant of arrest issued through the UN Security Council versus a direct one from the ICC.
“This is the first third party state where the warrant of arrest is being issued where that warrant of arrest is not being issued through the Security Council. I think it’s important to emphasise that. If you are a state party, you automatically waive immunity. If you are not a state party, you are presented to the ICC though the security council, immunity is waived. But if you are another party and it doesn’t come through Security Council, article 98 of the Roman Statute requires a waive from that country. So, we are looking at all of these matters which includes our obligations both to the ICC but also our obligations towards international customary law which article 98 looks at.”
The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants to know whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the BRICS Summit virtually or physically in South Africa in August.
DA Member of Parliament’s International Relations and Cooperation Committee Emma Powell has sought clarity from the department. She also wants to know how government will deal with the warrant for Putin’s arrest by the International Criminal Court if he visits the country.
The department appeared before the committee to brief it about the progress and preparations ahead of the summit which Putin is expected to attend.
Powell sought clarity.
“Can the Deputy Minister or Director General give the committee a firm yes or no answer? Will Putin visit South Africa physically and if President Vladimir Putin visits South Africa uphold our international obligations and arrest him and if not, can we please [get] some kind of an update on how we ought to deal with this fragile situation?”
Meanwhile, the EFF rejects any attempts for the arrest of Putin when he visits South Africa.
EFF MP Thembi Msane repeated the party’s call for South Africa to withdraw as a signatory to the International Criminal Court.
“I believe chairperson as a country we should first look at the credibility of the body that wants us as a country to implement their position on arresting the President of Russia. So, chairperson we know that the ICC, as a country we had a motion to remove ourselves as a body for many years and it was recently withdrawn from Parliament for us to remove ourselves from the ICC. It goes back to why we wanted to remove ourselves from the ICC. And it is very unfortunate chair that it is because of the decisiveness of the ruling party for us to find ourselves in a position where we are now forced by imperialists in order to adopt a motion and resolution that they determine as a state that we must arrest President Putin.”