Government ‘reflects’ on ruling to revoke ICC withdrawal
The government has reacted to the order by the High Court in Pretoria compelling it to revoke its notice of withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC). In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Justice said it will "reflect" on the judgment before deciding on whether to appeal it.
Earlier, the court found that the decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute was invalid and unconstitutional.
"Government has noted the judgment delivered by the court today on the notice to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the ICC wherein the court declared such notice invalid and unconstitutional," spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.
"Government will reflect on the reasons for the judgment and decide whether to appeal or not."
SA fell foul of the ICC in 2015 when it refused to detain Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the ICC for war crimes. SA was obliged, as a signatory to the statute, to arrest him when he was in SA for an African Union summit.
Cabinet’s decision to withdraw from the statute was met with outcry and was immediately and urgently challenged in court by the DA, supported by a number of legal non-governmental organisations.
The process of withdrawing from the ICC started late last year; in January this year, Parliament’s justice committee began considering legislation to effect the withdrawal.