The South African government is to approach the secretariat of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to seek clarity on legal principles dealing with the granting of immunity from arrest of leaders of countries not party to the Rome Statute.
Monday marks the deadline of a request by the ICC that South Africa make submissions about its decision not to honour a request to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir while he was attending an African Union summit in Sandton in June.
International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says, “The Government remains committed to international criminal justice and to cooperate with the Court in the pursuit thereof as was envisaged in the Rome Statute. It is of the view that these discussions will serve to enhance the proper execution of international criminal justice.”
A statement released by Nkoana-Mashabane’s department says that there are some issues that government needs clarity regarding article 97 and 98 of the Rome Statute.
According to the statement, International Relations Clayson Monyela says “South Africa was unfortunately not afforded the opportunity to present legal arguments on this application, and hence it is of the view that the principles of justice were not adhered to.”
South Africa has now approached the Court for more time to respond to this request.