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SA was under a duty under the Rome Statute to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he was in the country in 2015 at the AU summit‚ the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled yesterday. By not arresting him‚ it failed in its duty to comply with the court’s request for his surrender. This prevented the court from exercising its functions and powers‚ the ICC said in its finding, according to a BusinessLIVE report.
For the second time in less than a month, an international dispute with virtually no South African connection has ended up in a local court. The latest is an application brought in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) last week by Balkan Energy against the government of Ghana. A few years back Balkan won an international arbitration award against the government of Ghana for US$12m that Ghana has refused to pay.
As expected SA has denied it flouted international law by refusing in 2015 to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir wanted by war crimes judges on charges of genocide in Darfur. At an unprecedented hearing at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Pretoria found itself fending off accusations that it had failed in its obligations to the very tribunal which it helped to found, notes a News24 report.
Justice Minister Michael Masutha has formally withdrawn SA’s decision to pull out of the International Criminal Court, says a report in The Mercury. Masutha confirmed in Parliament yesterday that the country would not withdraw from the ICC. The decision has ended months of speculation after an earlier decision by the government to pull out, says the report.
Former Constitutional Court Justice Zak Yacoob, who last week threw his weight behind a campaign to stop the government leaving the International Criminal Court, has suggested straight parliamentary approval of SA’s decision to withdraw – as required by a High Court ruling – might not be enough, notes Daily News.
The process of pulling out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) got under way officially yesterday when the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act Repeal Bill was presented to Parliament’s Justice Committee, where it was enthusiastically received by ANC MPs (see report below), notes Daily News.
What SA believes to be unfair treatment by the International Criminal (ICC) was one of the reasons it decided to withdraw from the treaty, Justice Minister Michael Masutha told the Assembly of State Parties in The Hague yesterday. According to a Beeld report, the government’s explanation that its obligations to the African Union and peace efforts are hampered by the ICC’s interpretation of justice was also restated, but Masutha took the opportunity to emphasise how aggrieved he felt at SA's treatment by the court.
The Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) – represented by Norton Rose Fulbright – has filed an application at the Constitutional Court challenging SA's withdrawal from the ICC, says a GroundUp report. The application was filed against President Jacob Zuma, the government and a number of government officials, including Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
The DA has applied for direct access to the Constitutional Court to challenge the Cabinet decision to pull SA out of the International Criminal Court. The decision was unconstitutional and a breach of the Bill of Rights‚ the DA argued in papers filed with the Constitutional Court yesterday, says a BusinessLIVE report. It wants the court to declare the withdrawal notice and the Cabinet decision to issue it invalid; and to order the government to revoke it.
The Constitutional Court has agreed to hear an appeal by the state against a SCA ruling that the government acted contrary to the Constitution when it failed to detain Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in the country last year. The hearing has been set down for 22 November.
A network of international journalists investigating the use of offshore bank accounts which enable wealthy clients to reduce the level of scrutiny of their dealings have published new revelations about businessmen in Nigeria, Kenya, Namibia, Egypt and Algeria. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) says the latest research on the Panama Papers " leaked documents from the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca " has exposed "fresh details about the misuse of corporate secrecy and hidden wealth in Africa".