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Court orders South Africa to reverse ICC withdrawal
23 February 2017, 12:49 | Elizabeth Houston
Court to rule on ICC withdrawal
This comes particularly following the visit of Sudanese president Omar Bashir to Johannesburg in June 2015 to attend the 25th AU Summit despite an worldwide warrant for his arrest issued by the ICC on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the Darfur conflict in 2009.
South Africa's decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been ruled invalid and unconstitutional by the country's High Court.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance took the government to court, arguing that Justice Minister Michael Masutha acted unlawfully by announcing the withdrawal without seeking parliamentary approval. The advocacy group has argued for South Africa to remain in the ICC.
"We feel the executive's decision was misguided and the court stamped the authority against the executive's subversion of the rule of law", says Ngari.
"What is so pressing for the national executive about the withdrawal. which can not wait for our legislative processes to take their course?" the court's ruling said. However, the court's ruling could mean a significant delay in the process, and some legal experts speculate that the government might consider dropping its withdrawal plan ahead of the next presidential elections in 2019.
In March, the Constitutional Court ordered Zuma to repay some of $16 million spent on enhancing his Nkandla home in rural KwaZulu-Natal province.
This is the second recent victory for the ICC in recent weeks after Adama Barrow, the new president of The Gambia, announced that his country would not be leaving the court, a pledge made by the country's former president Yahyah Jammeh. The government said it will study the ruling and decide whether to appeal.
"It's expected that the executive go back to parliament".
In 2016, Burundi, South Africa and The Gambia, expressed their intentions to withdraw from the court.
South Africa said it was quitting the ICC because membership conflicted with diplomatic immunity laws.
Burundi announced its intention to leave the ICC previous year. It stated that "South Africa does not want to be lumped together with pariah states who have no respect for human rights and who do not subscribe to accountability for those guilty of the most heinous human rights violations".
The issue may also be a factor in the run-up to and aftermath of the ruling African National Congress's internal leadership vote in December this year.
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