DA calls on Pandor to appear before committee to answer for Putin arrest warrant and Iran war ships

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

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Darren Bergman MP.

The DA is calling on the Portfolio committee on International Relations and Cooperation to ask that the Minister Naledi Pandor comes and appears before it to answer questions on Iran warships that docked on at the Cape Town port and the arrest warrant on Putin.

Recent comments by Pandor and the posturing of the ANC government, ever since the ICC issued the arrest warrant against Putin, shows that the ANC has no intention of enforcing the arrest warrant issued by the court against Russian President. As a party to the Rome statute, failure to enforce the arrest warrant will be a violation of international and domestic law.

Although there has been no acknowledgement yet from the Kremlin, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, has confirmed that Putin has been invited to attend the 15th Brics summit in South Africa in August.

Should the ANC government fail to enforce arrest, it would be the second time that it has failed to execute an ICC arrest warrant. In 2016, the ANC government allowed former Sudan President, Omar Al Bashir to leave South Africa despite an active ICC arrest warrant against him.

On 23 March, Pandor made unfortunate remarks which appeared to accuse the ICC of having double standards and a propensity for bias on the implementation of its mandate.

Pandor’s comments were followed by the announcement that the ANC government was supposedly seeking legal advice on the Putin arrest warrant. This is a poor attempt to wiggle itself out of international and domestic law as our courts have previously ruled that the failure to arrest Al Bashir was unlawful.

On Iran warships, a note verbale sent to the International Relations Committee in Parliament by the US Embassy, warns South African authorities that “…entities and individuals that provide support, including maritime services to designated entities could be subject to sanctions risk under US authorities”. Pandor needs to provide answers on why the ANC government has chosen to put the South African economy at risk to pander to authoritarian and sanctioned regimes like Iran.

It is astounding to note how far the ANC has strayed from a supposed human rights based foreign policy to one where the protection of Putin and the Iran authoritarian regime takes precedence. Pandor’s defense of the world’s authoritarian regimes can no longer be allowed to continue, she must now account for her disastrous foreign policy stance.