South African court rules that decision to withdraw from ICC is unconstitutional

22 Feb 2017


A South African court (the North Gauteng High Court) has ruled that the decision by the country’s ruling party to withdraw from the International Criminal Court is unconstitutional, irrational and procedurally flawed.

South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, welcomed the court ruling. The DA said “This is a victory for the rule of law the and indeed for our country’s human rights-based foreign policy which Zuma and his cronies have tried so hard to depart from.”

There has been a view that the ANC’s decision to withdraw from the ICC will be challenged and perhaps delayed considerably. With time the decision might even be reversed due to change of leadership in the country’s ruling party, the ANC.

That view partly takes from the fact that the ANC, currently captured by the waning Jacob Zuma led bloc, is at war with itself. And many of the current decisions taken by the ANC led government are seen to be the last kick of a dying horse amidst signs of a ground swelling rebellion against Zuma and his cabal.

Another opposition party, Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters, has expressed its opposition to the ICC withdrawal and branded it unconstitutional.

The DA said which had taken the matter to court said the ANC-led government now has an opportunity to reconsider the wisdom of withdrawing from the ICC and we urge them to do so.

It said “South Africa is currently out of step with other progressive and democratic African countries who have reaffirmed their commitment to the ICC.

“South Africa does not want to be lumped together with pariah states who have no respect for human rights and who do not subscribe to accountability for those guilty of the most heinous human rights violations.

“Instead, we should recommit our country to the human rights-based foreign policy spearheaded by the late President Nelson Mandela.

“This judgement also confirms yet another breach of the Constitution, this time Section 231, and only and illustrates the ANC’s willingness to steamroll over the founding principles of our country.

Clearly Zuma and his ANC have absolutely no respect for the Constitution.

“The DA will therefore be investigating avenues to hold those responsible for this breach, to account.”

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