SOUTH AFRICAN STANDS FIRM ON WITHDRAWAL FROM ICC, DESPITE COURT RULING

PRETORIA, Justice Minister Michael Masutha says the South African government's decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) still stands despite a High Court ruling that the notice of withdrawal without a Parliamentary process is invalid and unconstitutional.

He said after Wednesday's ruling by the North gauteng High Court here that the government would decide how to proceed, including a possible appeal, after reading the full judgment.

The country's leading opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), had taken the government to court, saying Masutha unlawfully bypassed Parliament when he made the decision and therefore did not act in line with the Constitution.

"As government we will meticulously reflect on the reasons for the judgement as the matter has far-reaching implications and as such we will take a decision to appeal or not," Justice Ministry Spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

The Government announced its decision to withdraw from the ICC, which is based at The Hague in the Netherlands, in October 2016, following a dispute over a visit by Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, who is wanted by the tribunal for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The government is of the view that the Rome Statute establishing the ICC is incompatible with the country's domestic laws regarding immunity for visiting foreign Heads of State and government.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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