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ICC showing SA ‘cheeky arrogance’: ANC

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The ANC wants South Africa to end its membership of the International Criminal Court because of what it calls the institution’s arrogance.

“The manner that we were treated around the [President Omar] al-Bashir incident is consistent with the cheeky arrogance that Africa has experienced in its interaction with the ICC,” the party says in discussion documents released ahead of its national general council in October.

It is intended to assess progress made in implementing resolutions taken at the party’s last elective congress, in Mangaung in December 2012.

It says Western nations use the court to effect regime change in Africa and Africa needs its own alternative to the ICC.

South Africa’s recent refusal to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir while he was in South Africa highlighted that in addition to complying with its obligations to the ICC, the country has obligations to the African union and African countries, the ANC says.

On Monday, June 15, the High Court in Pretoria handed down an order that government had to detain al-Bashir and that its failure to do so was unconstitutional. He was attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg. Government allowed him to leave. He is wanted by the ICC to stand trial on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.

South Africa is a member of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC.

The ANC says it does not condone impunity, and authoritarian and violent regimes.

It is however concerned about the ICC’s “selective prosecution” of Africans. Those who violate human rights in Africa have to be prosecuted by an impartial body empowered by international co-operation, the party says.

It views the allegations against al-Bashir in a “serious light”.


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