|The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) welcomes the South African government’s withdrawal of the repeal bill on the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The withdrawal comes after the High Court of South Africa Gauteng Division, Pretoria ruled that:
“(i) the notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, signed by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on 19 October 2016, without prior parliamentary approval, is unconstitutional and invalid;
Although Minister Muthambi, Acting Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, has stated that the withdrawal of the bill is not an indication of the abandonment of the process, we compliment her and other key role players for the respect and speedy execution of the court order.
While we remain cognisant of the challenges and imperfections of the ICC we are not convinced that a withdrawal from the ICC is the best solution. That being said, we do however look forward to a series of serious and robust debate on the pros and cons of our membership to the ICC. We pause to say that paramount in all discussions should be the promotion and protection of human rights, especial those of the poor and vulnerable. We can never protect dictators and other cruel leaders who engage in acts of crime against humanity, genocide and gross violations of human rights which result in the highest risk to women and children who are often the first casualties in war and terror. If such murderers rule in the West, East and Europe and remain untouched, it does not excuse us in our beloved continent of Africa from excusing such dictators and murderers, who have caused such mayhem and destruction against masses of people , from facing the full wrath of the law, be it under the ICC or similar institutions.
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS (NADEL), SOUTH AFRICA