South Africa has been asked to be present at the ICC in April due to the government’s failure to arrest Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir during his visit to South Africa in 2015.
The acting chief state law adviser, Ayesha Johar confirmed that the government was asked to appear at the International Criminal Court for failure to arrest Bashir two years ago.
“It concerns an order of non-compliance by South Africa as a member state of the ICC and Sudan’s president,” she said.
South Africa’s issues with the ICC began in 2015 when President Omar Al-Bashir visited South Africa. Bashir who was wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity was attending the African Union summit in South Africa. South Africa, also a member of the ICC had the mandate to arrest the Sudanese President, but did not.
The court criticized the government for not adhering to the order to arrest Bashir. In the same year, Pretoria signaled its desire to leave the Hague-based court due to the reprimand it received from the ICC. This led the country to question the objectiveness of the international tribunal. It accused the ICC of being biased against Africans.
Last month a South African high court blocked the government’s decision to leave the ICC. The reason for the high court’s dismissal of the request was hinged on its failure to pass through the parliament first.
The Minister of Justice, Michael Masutha had stated that the government will not give up its cause to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. The reason being that the court’s ruling was based on failure on the government’s part to go through the necessary procedure.
However, South Africa has officially revoked its withdrawal from the Hague-based court. The letter was submitted to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on Tuesday.
Last month Gambia’s current administration overturned the previous administration’s decision to leave the International Criminal Court. This leaves Burundi as the only African country which still officially intends to withdraw from the court.