SA has started the formal proc

SA has started the formal process to withdraw from the International Criminal Court

Hot on the heels of Burundi’s decision to leave the ICC on account of keeping their president in power much longer than their constitution allows, South Africa has officially started the process, making it the 2nd ever country to do so.

SA has started the formal proc

So you remember when Omar al-Bashir — the man accused of murdering hundreds of thousands of his own citizens – came to SA last year and the International Criminal Court (ICC) instructed South Africa – a signatory of the Rome statute which binds us to ICC rulings, but also protects us under them – to arrest and extradite him to the Hague to stand trial?

Cool, so you also remember that Jacob Zuma and some senior ANC members concocted a plot to spirit Al-Bashir out of the country before he could be arrested.

Ok well, following the incident the ANC decided it would cancel SA’s subscription to international law and order weekly and remove us from the ICC as we no longer feel like playing by international rules. There was also the issue of African warlords finding their way onto the ICC’s hitlist and African countries claiming it’s a European body with a European agenda – even though the majority of judges in the ICC are… wait for it, African.

Anyway, the Associated Press got hold of the “Instrument of Withdrawal” signed by international relations minister — the same minister that fell asleep during the last vote of no-confidence debate in parliament — Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

The document reads that South Africa “has found that its obligations with respect to the peaceful resolution of conflicts at times are incompatible with the interpretation given by the International Criminal Court of obligations contained in the Rome Statute.”

The charges against Bashir, a close friend of Jacob Zuma, include the deaths of around 300 000 of his own people, for which the ICC tribunal want him to stand trial; and if Zuma’s own reluctance to see the inside of a courtroom is anything to go by, it would make sense why he would help Bashir do the same.

The incident where the ANC government helped Bashir escape his day in court caused international outrage from human rights organisations across the board, and South Africa’s move to leave the ICC might have been bolstered by another African country’s recent departure.

Burundi recently left the ICC following a move by president Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term as president, an unconstitutional move that’s led to months of bloody conflict in that country.