No chance of SA arresting Putin when he visits

South African is a member of the Brics forum of developing nations comprising Brazil, Russia India, China and SA.


Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be arrested if he comes to South Africa and there will be no sanction against it by the West, according to political analyst Jan Venter. Venter said he did not think the South African government would follow up on the arrest warrant issued against Putin by the International Criminal Court in the Hague as SA still felt strongly about the former Soviet Union’s role in supporting the black liberation struggle. 'Feelings' “Those feelings of comradeship are much too strong and South Africa has positioned itself in favour of Brics, but definitely more in favour…

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be arrested if he comes to South Africa and there will be no sanction against it by the West, according to political analyst Jan Venter.

Venter said he did not think the South African government would follow up on the arrest warrant issued against Putin by the International Criminal Court in the Hague as SA still felt strongly about the former Soviet Union’s role in supporting the black liberation struggle.

‘Feelings’

“Those feelings of comradeship are much too strong and South Africa has positioned itself in favour of Brics, but definitely more in favour of Russia in reference to the liberation struggle,” he said.

South African is a member of the Brics forum of developing nations comprising Brazil, Russia India, China and SA.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant of arrest against Putin for war crimes and the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.

This means any country that is a signatory to the Rome Statute should arrest Putin if he arrives and South Africa is among these.

If South Africa failed to arrest Putin, it would be in violation of the international agreement. But it will not be the first time the country has failed to honour its obligation to arrest a president wanted by the ICC.

South Africa refused to arrest former Sudan president Omar alBashir who visited the country in 2017. Al-Bashir was wanted by the ICC for alleged atrocities in South Sudan.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu said the party had noted the ICC’s decision regarding Putin but was engaging its government employees to gain in-depth understanding about the implications of the route the ICC took.

READ MORE: Hungary will not arrest Putin over ICC warrant -govt official

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EFF input

But Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema vowed to ensure that nothing happened to Putin if he visited SA. “Putin is welcome to visit South Africa.

No one is going to arrest Putin. If needs be, we will go and fetch Putin from the airport to his meetings. “He will address, finish all his meetings and we will take him back to the airport.

We are not going to be told [what to do] by these hypocrites of the ICC,” Malema said. Venter said he did not foresee that sanctions would be imposed on South Africa by Nato as a result of its failure to arrest Putin. No Western action was contemplated in the case of AlBashir, either.

If needs be we will go and fetch Putin from the airport the same group as Iran, Syria, China and Russia. We will start to be among countries that are unreliable and that are on the wrong side of history at the moment.” Venter said.

He said Putin’s proposed visit to SA would show he was not isolated and he could still travel all over the world as he still has allies.

“I don’t think that, economically, South Africa is such a big actor in the world that anybody is going to act against us but our reputation as an actor in goodwill and a partner that could be relied on, that will suffer,” Venter said.

“We will start to be named in “When he comes to South Africa, we will be seen as his ally. He will try to make that picture as colourful as possible.

South Africa will do their best to aid and help Putin. They will also try to communicate their neutrality to America but actions speak louder than words,” Venter said.

Survival

He said SA’s stance towards Russia would result in widespread condemnation from the West as the country was a major trading partner of the US and European Union.

“For survival’s sake, we need Europe and the US. We are now going to slap them in the face and say SA is going its own way.”

He said there were more diplomatic ways to handle the situation. “If we say we are neutral in the Ukraine war, we must act neutrally and not be biased. Going back to the past, we should not have received the Chinese and Russian warships. Flaunting our relationship with Russia is dangerous.

ALSO READ: Putin says West wants ‘to be done’ with Russia

– lungam@citizen.co.za

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