Vladimir Putin should be arrested if he comes to SA: DA

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The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) John Steenhuisen says Russian President Vladimir Putin should be arrested if he comes to South Africa.

Steenhuisen says the country has a legal obligation to execute the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Putin.

This is for alleged war crimes related to the abduction of children from Ukraine.

The South African government is taking legal advice on how to handle the arrest warrant in the event the Russian leader attends a Brics summit in August.

The Kremlin has yet to decide on whether Putin will travel for the summit.

“I think that any responsible president would advise Putin given the ICC arrest warrant that he should perhaps not come,” says Steenhuisen.

“But if he does come, I think SA is obliged if it’s for the rule of law and (if you) govern according to the constitutional principles you would be obliged to execute that arrest warrant. If he is here we have the legal obligation. The principle of the rule of law means that the equality before the law and SA is oblige to execute that. We have not left the ICC. We’ve remained signatories. Putin must be arrested,” he adds.

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Meanwhile, parliament says it intends to ask International Relations Minister Naledi Pandod and her department to brief it on how government plans to handle Putin’s forthcoming trip to South Africa.

Chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Supra Mahumapelo, says he has spoken to the minister, and that the matter should be formally discussed next week.

“We are going to be writing to the minister that as soon as next week we sit and discuss this matter, just to understand from their point of view as the executive, how are they going to approach this matter because we are doing oversight on them.”

ICC’s warrant of arrest for president Vladimir Putin:

The Brics summit will take place in South Africa in August.