Presidential u-turn on International Criminal Court leaves ANC humiliated

Issued by Emma Louise Powell MP – DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
26 Apr 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Emma Louise Powell MP.

Yesterday the DA was appalled to learn of  President Ramaphosa’s announcement that South Africa would withdraw as a signatory to the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

This was later confirmed by the ANC’s Secretary General (SG), Fikile Mbalula during a press briefing.

Putin is accused of overseeing the abduction of Ukrainian children, after Russia illegally invaded this sovereign state. As a signatory to the founding statute of the ICC, South Africa would be obliged to act on an arrest warrant issued by the Court.

Notwithstanding South Africa’s obligations under international law, the ANC yesterday reiterated the President and the SG’s comments on social media, adding further that alleged war criminal Vladimir Putin was indeed “welcome in South Africa at any time”.

In an astonishing u-turn mere hours after these comments were made, the Presidency issued a statement apologising for Ramaphosa’s “erroneous comments”, clarifying that the ANC in fact wishes for South Africa to remain a signatory to the Rome Statute.

This diplomatic blunder is indicative of the deep ideological divisions within the ANC, now on display in vivid technicolor detail as the world watches.

It is also clear that South Africa has no firm foreign policy position to rely on as a guiding light in matters of such grave importance. Rather, our President and Ministers make it up as they go, cow-towing to whichever faction of the ANC shouts the loudest on any given day.

On the back of this embarrassing blunder, Ramaphosa must now assure the global community that South Africa will indeed uphold its legal obligations and arrest Putin should he attend the BRICS Summit in August.

The DA will continue to shine the torch of freedom, justice and democracy as the ANC unravels in real time.