News / South Africa

Austil Mathebula
2 minute read
8 Mar 2017
10:32 am

SA revokes its ‘unconstitutional’ withdrawal from ICC

Austil Mathebula

Justice Minister Michael Masutha is set to appear in parliament to explain himself.

International Criminal Court

The South African government officially revoked its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday.

According to a document released by the United Nations (UN), the decision to revoked by the country’s withdrawal from the international body was informed by the Gauteng High Court, which found that “the approval of the Parliament of South Africa had to be obtained before the Instrument of Withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court can be deposited with the United Nations”.

The matter was brought to court by the Democratic Alliance (DA) which thought the move to withdraw from the ICC was unconstitutional and invalid.

“Reference is made to the Instrument of Withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and its Declaratory Statement that was deposited to you by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations under cover of Note No. 568/2016 on 19 October 2016.

“I wish to inform you that the Gauteng High Court of the Republic of South Africa has on 22 February 2017 issued a judgement in the matter between the Democratic Alliance and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and others and found that the approval of the Parliament of South Africa had to be obtained before the Instrument of Withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court can be deposited with the United Nations as provided for In Article 127(1) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

“Consequently, the abovementioned depositing of the Instrument of Withdrawal was found to be unconstitutional and invalid.

“In order to adhere to the said judgement, I hereby revoke the Instrument of Withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court with immediate effect.”

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha is set to appear in parliament on Wednesday to discuss the high court ruling.