JUSTICE MALALA: Why dictators and despots rejoice at Zuma and Trump
'The ICC will most likely now weaken and die. The poor and powerless, the weak and defenceless, will have no one to turn to. The bad guys are winning'
Zuma, a major proponent of the dissolution of the ICC, wasn’t the only one celebrating. President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, a man indicted for allegedly killing 300,000 of his fellow Africans, was probably also getting down. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, accused of presiding over the killing of several thousand alleged drug dealers and addicts, was also probably popping champagne. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, possibly joined in with his own festivities.
Who else would have been partying this past weekend? Oh yes, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was also probably downing vodka shots.
Former president Jacob Zuma was most likely having a party this weekend. Why? It is because Zuma’s criticism of and attempts to destroy the International Criminal Court – a body that has since 2002 tried to bring war criminals, despots and dictators to justice – was endorsed by US President Donald Trump last week. Trump’s national security adviser, John R Bolton, said in a widely reported speech: “I want to deliver a clear and unambiguous message on behalf of the president of the United States. The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court. We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. And, certainly, we will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own.” This is music to the world’s worst dictators and despots. Bolton’s words mean that the “court of last resort”, the one place where dictators who fooled their own compatriots could not escape sc...