SA’s ICC withdrawal revoked

South Africa will rescind the decision to revoke the ratification of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court, and will no longer withdraw from the international body.

A document issued by the United Nations and seen by News24, confirmed that a letter dated March 7, submitted by the South African government to the UN, notified the UN of the country’s decision to revoke its withdrawal.

The letter indicated that the decision to revoke withdrawal came as a result of the February 22 ruling by the Gauteng High Court that Parliament had to approve the withdrawal. The court ordered President Jacob Zuma, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Justice Minister Michael Masutha to revoke the notice of withdrawal.

In October last year, Masutha announced that the country would withdraw from the ICC. The decision came in the wake of several court judgments which ruled that the state had violated the law by not arresting Sudan President Omar al-Bashir during his appearance at the African Union summit held in South Africa in June 2015. The ICC had issued an arrest warrant for him, on charges of human rights violations in his country.

Following Masutha’s announcement, the Democratic Alliance (DA) successfully challenged the state’s decision in court.

Masutha is expected to discuss the high court’s ruling that the decision to withdraw from the ICC was unconstitutional and invalid in Parliament on Wednesday.

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