South Africa is desperately looking for alternatives

5. May 2023 22:03 – Updated May 5, 2023 10:28 p.m

At the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he has faith that Vladimir Putin will be arrested and tried for war crimes.

Zelenskyj addressed the International Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon.
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In March, the ICC issued a war crimes warrant against Putin, accusing him of personal responsibility for the abduction of children from Ukraine.

In August, South Africa will have the opportunity to arrest the Russian president, writes the Canadian broadcaster CBC. Putin will then attend a summit in the country together with Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

South Africa has ratified the document governing the International Criminal Court and is thus obliged to comply with the arrest warrant and arrest Putin.

Trust that South Africa will do the right thing

Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan believes South Africa is aware of the responsibility they have.
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ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan addressed the Canadian parliament just hours after Zelenskyi’s visit to The Hague. He said that he believes that South Africa will arrest Putin if he arrives in the country.

– They have said that they are aware of this responsibility. I don’t think they need any guidance from me,” Khan said.

– I have confidence that they will do the right thing, and I think I will leave it at that, Khan continued.

Khan added that he was reluctant to put pressure on South Africa, saying that a country that fought to end apartheid has the right to make its own decisions.

Diplomatic immunity

President Cyril Ramaphosa last week called for South Africa to leave the International Criminal Court.
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Putin’s participation in the summit has been confirmed, but it is still uncertain whether he will participate digitally or physically. The Russian president’s possible arrival has led to an intense debate in South Africa.

Ronald Lamola, South Africa’s justice minister, told local media that they are investigating various possibilities regarding Putin’s participation.

– We will explore various options as to how the ICC Statute applies to us, including the possibility of extending ordinary diplomatic immunity to visiting heads of state in our country, Lamola said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa last week advocated that South Africa would leave the International Criminal Court. South African authorities later that day had to issue a statement denying that the country would leave the ICC.

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