President Ramaphosa must commit to arresting Vladimir Putin as an ICC criminal

Issued by Darren Bergman MP – DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
20 Mar 2023 in News

Unless President Ramaphosa intends to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin the moment he sets foot on South African soil, he should not allow him to attend the BRICS summit. The country simply cannot afford another hit to our reputation – the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) greylisting due to the failure to effectively combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism has already caused the rest of the world to view South Africa’s global transactions as high-risk. And the failure to arrest former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015 certainly indicates that despite its many utterances to the contrary, the ANC government does not prioritise human rights.

The DA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to prioritise the country’s reputation and well-being over that of Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and ensure that he is not among the leaders set to attend the BRICS summit in South Africa in August.

The ICC’s issuing of a warrant for Putin’s arrest for alleged war crimes should serve as a final warning to the ANC that while the governing party might make light of the invasion of a neighbouring country, the international community does not.

Putin and the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, are being accused of unlawfully deporting children and people from Ukraine to Russia.

President Ramaphosa’s attempt to evade DA Leader John Steenhuisen’s question regarding the attendees of the BRICS summit, shows that his admiration for Putin is blinding him to the strain Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has placed on South African citizens.

If President Ramaphosa insists on placing his friendship with a wanted war-criminal over the well-being of his people, we call on him to ensure the meeting takes place on neutral ground and that peace and Russia’s immediate withdrawal from Ukraine be prioritised.

This would be the most productive and effective use of BRICS resources and energy to ensure a recovery of the global economy.

South Africa is already seen as weak, inactive and rudderless – we do not need to add sympathiser of war-criminals to the list.