DA goes to court to compel South Africa to arrest Putin

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has filed a court application in the Gauteng High Court requesting a declaratory order stating that the South African government must immediately detain and surrender Russian President Vladimir Putin to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if Putin arrives in South Africa to attend the BRICS summit .

The DA says it is launching this action to avoid a repeat of the Al-Bashir saga when the South African government failed to uphold its duty to make an arrest in 2015.

Putin is blamed by the ICC of being liable for war crimes in Ukraine .

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South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Rule and will have a legitimate commitment to capture Putin if and when he comes to the country.

“This pre-emptory court action aims to ensure that South Africa upholds its obligations in terms of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act 27 of 2002 (Implementation Act).” said Adv. Glynnis Breytenbach MP – DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development.

“The DA’s court application outlines the precise steps to be taken should a request for President Putin’s arrest and surrender be forthcoming from the ICC. These steps include that the Director General of Justice and Constitutional Development must immediately forward the request to a Magistrate in terms of section 8(2) of the Implementation Act. Subsequently, any warrant of arrest endorsed by a Magistrate must be given effect to by the government, following which President Putin must be detained and surrendered to the ICC.”

“The DA is seeking this declaratory order to ensure that there is no legal ambiguity relating to the procedure to be followed, and the obligations placed upon the state, should President Putin set foot in South Africa.”

Minister Dr. Naledi Pandor has approved diplomatic immunity for foreign officials attending the Brics summit in August, potentially opening the door for the attendance of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a gazette notice on Monday, Pandor said the immunity also applies to officials attending the Brics foreign ministers’ meeting starting on Thursday , 1 June 2023 in Cape Town.




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