South African Government has officially revoked its intent to withdraw from the International Criminal Court‚ according to a document issued by the United Nations on Tuesday.
On October 21 last year‚ South Africa’s Justice Minister Michael Masutha announced that South Africa had initiated the process of withdrawing from the ICC.
The Democratic Alliance approached the court last year to challenge the government’s decision to withdraw from the ICC.
The document indicates that on February 22 the Gauteng High Court’s ruled that Parliament has to approve the withdrawal.
The High Court in Pretoria ordered President Jacob Zuma‚ International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Masutha to revoke the notice of withdrawal.
“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.”
Justice Minister Michael Masutha is set to appear in parliament on Wednesday to discuss the high court ruling that found that the withdrawal was unconstitutional and invalid.
The question is why the parties involved issued the notice of withdrawal from the ICC without going through the normal process of consulting the Parliament. Knowing very well that opposition parties will challenge the decision in court.
My opinion is that this is just a waste of taxpayers money to pursue court cases that should have been avoided.