CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
The South African cabinet abides by a court
ruling over the country’s intended withdrawal from the
International Criminal Court (ICC), a cabinet minister said
The cabinet had
noted the ruling by the North Gauteng High Court, Minister in
the Presidency Jeff Radebe said at a press briefing in Cape Town
after a cabinet meeting.
The court ruled in
late February that the government’s notice to withdraw from the
ICC is “unconstitutional and invalid” without prior
In October last
year, the South African government began the process of
withdrawing from the ICC. A written notice was submitted to then
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
South Africa is
hindered by the Rome Statute under which the ICC was
established, as it compels the country to arrest people who may
enjoy diplomatic immunity but who are wanted by the ICC, the
government has said.
In 2015, South
Africa rejected an ICC request to arrest Sudanese President Omar
al-Bashir when he was attending the 25th African
Union Summit in Johannesburg.
The South African
government argues that in addition to complying with its
obligations to the ICC, the country has obligations to the AU,
which rules that no organization can arrest any sitting head of
state of African countries.
The SA government
says implementation of the Rome Statute is also in conflict and
inconsistent with provisions of the country’s Diplomatic
Immunities & Privileges Act.
The ICC was
established to prosecute cases of genocide, war crimes and
crimes against humanity.