17 July 2023 - NW1281
Pambo, Mr V to ask the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
Whether, in view of the experience the Republic had with the former president of Sudan, Mr Omar al-Bashir, who paid a visit to the Republic whilst having an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant of arrest issued against him, and in light of the upcoming visit of the Russian President, Mr Vladimir Putin, he intends to introduce a Bill with the aim of withdrawing the Republic’s participation in and membership of the ICC; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what legislative progress has been made with earlier attempts to disengage the Republic from the ICC?
1. In October 2016, the 5th administration of South Africa took a decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“Rome Statute”). Following this decision, South Africa sent a written notice to withdraw from the Rome Statute to the Secretary General of the United Nations.
2. In February 2017, the North Gauteng High Court unanimously ruled that the withdrawal notification sent by South Africa to the United Nations was unconstitutional and invalid without prior parliamentary approval, and ordered the Government to rescind the notice with immediate effect. In line with the court decision, the South African government revoked its notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute in March 2017.
(a) There is currently no intention to introduce a Bill with the aim of withdrawing the Republic’s participation in and membership of the ICC.
(b) South Africa remains a full member of the ICC with all the rights and obligations that accrue to all members of the Rome Statute.
(c) The International Crimes Bill, introduced in Parliament in 2017, whose purpose was to withdraw South Africa from the ICC by repealing the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act 27 of 2002, has been withdrawn from Parliament.