A conference on the future of international justice the Symposium in Cape Town, questioned South Africa’s membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its possible withdrawal. South African Minister of Justice Michael Masutha took the opportunity to clarify the South African government’s position regarding the possible withdrawal from the ICC. The meeting organised by the Wayno Foundation, Minster Masutha and reputable legal experts was held on the 29th of August.
Minister Masutha said that the South African government and the justice department are still planning on withdrawing from the International Criminal Court. The minister further said that South Africa will remain strongly committed to human rights, Justice for victims of atrocities and keep pursuing international criminals.
He also clarified why South Africa should leave the ICC, stating the conflict of interest between South Africa’s memberships in the African Union and the International Criminal Court. The decision to leave the ICC was not one taken without considering its possible impact on Human rights and having an accountable justice system.
South Africa’s exit in the ICC has to do with how it can implement the ICC without causing international or regional conflict. The ICC failed in apprehending Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who was charged with various war crimes. The South African government also had to respect that President al-Bashir was a sitting president of Sudan and member of the African Union which comes with certain levels of immunity. South Africa is not the only African country battling with this conflict which could hinder regional partnerships and unforeseen crises.