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Ramaphosa and ANC makes a U-turn on ICC

by Thys Khiba
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????UPDATE????President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Cabinet Reshuffle has been moved to 8pm instead of 7pm tonight #CabinetReshuffle

By Thys Khiba – Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya has indicated the African National Congress (ANC) secretary general (SG) Fikile Mbalula and President Cyril Ramaphosa made an error on withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday.

This clarification follows an error in a comment made during a media briefing held by the governing African National Congress (ANC) on South Africa’s status with regard to the ICC.

“Regrettably, the President erroneously affirmed a similar position during media session today,” said Magwenya.

Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya

Magwenya has confirmed the country remains a member of the ICC in line with a resolution of the 55th National Conference of the governing party – held in December 2022.

This comes after Ramaphosa announced the ANC has decided South Africa must withdraw its membership of the ICC.

“The governing party, the ANC, has taken the decision that it is prudent that South Africa should pull out of the ICC largely because of the manner in which the ICC has been seen to be dealing with these types of problems,” said Ramaphosa.

During the media briefing, it was confirmed that decision was taken during the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting at the weekend.

Ramaphosa said comments from Amnesty International were noted where there had been reflection on what many people believed was “unfair treatment.”

“Our view is that we would like this matter of unfair treatment to be properly discussed, but in the meantime the governing party has decided again there should be a pull out so that will be a matter that will be taken forward,” Ramaphosa said.

The governing party’s decision to withdraw might have beeninfluenced by the court’s decision in March to issue a warrant of arrest against Russian President Vladimir Putin who is expected to attend the BRICS summit in the country in August.

The ICC accused Putin of committing war crimes.

As a signatory to the ICC, South Africa is obliged to act on the warrant if Putin sets foot on South African soil. The government has sought legal advice on the matter.

This is for the second time South Africa has been put on pressure by the ICC to arrest a head of state. In 2015 South Africa did not comply with the ICC’s warrant of arrest for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir despite a local court order compelling his arrest.

It has been confirmed by ambassador at large for Asia and Brics and South Africa’s Brics sherpa (emissary) Prof Anil Sooklalthat Putin will attend the summit, set to take place from August 22 to 24 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

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