South Africa to withdraw from ICC

ICC on the spot for allegedly targeting African leaders

South Africa plans to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC), a deputy minister to the Presidency said on Sunday.

The statement by Obed Bapela comes as the government faces criticism for ignoring a court order to arrest Sudan’s president earlier this year.

“The ICC has lost its direction and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) wants to withdraw South Africa after following certain processes,” Bapela told reporters after a ruling party policy meeting.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, accused of genocide and war crimes, visited South Africa in June, but was allowed to leave despite a court order to detain him.

The government last week asked the ICC for more time to explain why it allowed Bashir to leave.

But the ruling party this weekend resolved to leave the ICC, with Bapela saying powerful nations “trample” human rights and pursue “selfish interests”.

“South Africa still holds the flag of human rights, we are not lowering it,” he said, adding that parliament would now debate ICC membership.

The ANC commands a comfortable majority in the legislature of Africa’s most advanced economy, with more than 60 percent of the vote.

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