AfriForum welcomes the order of the North Gauteng High Court that the government’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) must be revoked. The case was brought to court by the Democratic Alliance (DA) after the South African government in 2016 embarked on a process to withdraw from the ICC.
Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum concerned with international liaison, emphasises that withdrawal from the ICC will have dire implications for the position of human rights, not only in South Africa, but in the rest of Africa as well.
“An invaluable international platform where human rights violators and war criminals can be held accountable, will be forfeited by South Africa if the country was to withdraw from the ICC. If the government has any reservations about the functioning of the court the answer is to engage with it as a participating member. Withdrawing will make no difference to the operation of the court, but may have an extremely negative impact on the protection of human rights.”
AfriForum congratulates the DA on their victory. Bailey states that it was essential to challenge the government’s actions in court. The judgment justifies concern in this regard.
A public consultation process regarding the implementation of legislation in South Africa to terminate participation in the ICC, has recently been announced. Whether this process will continue, will only become clear once the ruling has been studied in detail. AfriForum encourages all interested parties to be watchful for information on the continuation of this process and if it were to continue, to oppose withdrawal vehemently.