Parliament will soon begin the “repeal process” which will facilitate the “withdrawal of South Africa from the International Criminal Court (ICC)”.
The chairperson of its Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation‚ Siphosezwe Masango‚ said on Thursday that the matter will get attention “once the Speaker of the National Assembly has referred the matter to relevant parliamentary committees”.
He said: “We agree with Justice Minister Michael Masutha’s statement on South Africa’s withdrawal from the ICC this afternoon in the house.
“For a long time we have witnessed the unevenness of international justice and the lack of universality of application in the manner in which countries are treated.
“The ICC is biased towards selectively targeting African heads of states. Leaders of the permanent members of the United Nation’s Security Council are never acted against when they transgress.”
Masutha told the committee that‚ of the nine cases in front of the ICC currently‚ eight involve African presidents.
Two weeks ago‚ Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane wrote an Instrument of Withdrawal to the United Nations Secretary-General General Ban Ki-moon.
He‚ however‚ at the weekend expressed regret over the move‚ and said the intention to withdraw from the ICC could send the wrong message on these countries’ commitment to justice.
“Deterring future atrocities‚ delivering justice for victims‚ and defending the rules of war across the globe are far too important priorities to risk a retreat from the age of accountability that we have worked so hard to build and solidify‚” said Ban.
“The world has made enormous strides in building a global system of international criminal justice‚ with the International Criminal Court as its centre piece‚” he added.