SA must support ICC and fight against impunity

via SA must support ICC and fight against impunity, says SALC | The Zimbabwean

With tension mounting between the African Union and the International Criminal Court (ICC), South Africa must publicly confirm its support for the ICC and the fight against impunity for genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity, said the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) in letters to South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

SALC sent the letters just days before an extraordinary African Union Summit on 10-11 October, which was called to discuss whether member states should withdraw from the Rome Statute that established the ICC – a move that was precipitated by the controversy over the trials of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto in relation to crimes against humanity after the December 2007 elections.

“With exemplary legislation for international crimes and a Constitution committed to human rights and justice, South Africa must speak out at the African Union summit, reaffirming its commitment to the ICC and encouraging other African governments to back the Court – and the fight against impunity for crimes against humanity,” said Angela Mudukuti, SALC’s project lawyer for international criminal justice.

“The credibility and future of the ICC is on the line. South Africa must stand up for international justice.” said Mudukuti.

The ICC’s relationship with certain African governments has come under increasing strain in the past few years with critics accusing the Court of bias and only targeting African countries. Indeed, Kenya’s parliament recently passed a motion to withdraw from the Rome Statute.

However, the majority of the cases currently before the ICC were actually brought by the countries where atrocities were committed – Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast and Mali. Two other situations, Darfur and Libya, were referred by the United Nations Security Council, with the support of its African members.

Kenya is the only country where the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC used its own investigative initiative, after obtaining authorisation from the judges of the court – and after it became clear that the international crimes committed during the post-election violence would not be properly investigated, let alone prosecuted, by the Kenyan authorities.

“African countries played a critical role in the formation of the ICC and – if countries like South Africa do not pledge their support to it now – could play a major part in its downfall,” said Mudukuti. “The only people celebrating if that happens will be the architects of the world’s worst crimes. South Africa must stand up for ordinary Africans who continue to back the ICC and, most importantly, for the victims of international crimes, who deserve to see justice done.”



  • comment-avatar
    maisokwazo 11 years ago

    Well back to the dark ages and the darker it gets when human rights are going to be trampled over with impunity with this heinous ploy to castigate ICC by AFRICAN DICTATORS dressed in SHEEP skin. Well, very interesting very, very interesting!!! African dictators are crying foul that they are being targeted by ICC. Imagine how many massacres Kenya underwent for simply voicing impartiality and questioning the fairness at electing who should govern them. How about Zimbabweans 2004 in Matebeleland defenseless, women and children more than 20 000 of them massacred by those who were supposed to protect them but turned against them. Hey guys – innocent civilians in that conflict had nothing to do with dissidents. In actual fact they were also being victimized by dissidents whose creation was the intolerance of those who were in power. How about Zimbabweans 2008. Guys you can go and ridicule the ICC but history will never forgive you for what you did and what you are doing to your OWN subjects your people – people created by God not by you and people who made you what you are today and now enjoying their exploits, unarmed, innocent and defenseless.GO AHEAD RENDER ICC DYSFUNCTIOAL SO THAT YOU CAN PERPETUATE YOUR HEINOUS DISPOSITION WITH IMPUNITY ON DEFENSELESS PEOPLE – GO AHEAD.

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    Jrr56 11 years ago

    Didn’t some African leaders cry the ICC seemed to be targeting only Africans? They must have good reason….

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    Chitova weGona 11 years ago

    These African dictators want to butcher us and relax bcoz that is where their power comes from- murder! They fight to protect themselves not the masses. Ordinary Africans want those leaders to be answerable to the atrocities they commit and the ICC will certainly help in preventing bloodshed. I personally dnt care if the majority of cases at the ICC are African leaders.What did they do to be implicated? Tinopera kufa.

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    dscot 11 years ago

    Well said Maisokwazo. You are 100% correct. These leaders are now very nervous that the ICC will become ever more dogmatic in their drive to bring every perpetrator of crimes against humanity to justice. These crimes should cover not only violence and intimidation but also the widespread plunder of resources and government coffers. Unfortunately SA is not innocent in the area of corruption, as has been well documented and I do have concerns it would be like “Turkeys voting for Christmas”.

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    Zvichapera 11 years ago

    The guilty are always afraid. That is why Africa will always be behind the rest of the world. With human right, there will always be conflict. When there is conflict we are taken advantage of by the ruling elite and their friends who benefit from chaos. The ICC remains the only institution these thugs are scared of. That kind of deterrant has kept most of these dictators have not gone over board with impunity. The guilty are afraid.

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    munzwa 11 years ago

    can you now expect any support from SA after their acceptance of the Zim election!!By steeling the election Mugabe has saved himself from the ICC.

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    Macon Pane 11 years ago

    Such as Mugabe have never had interests besides themselves… what’s in it for him… money, power, adulation, revenge. They orate and dup others to follow… and those who rise through those ranks are secretly hoping for the spoils of those they depose. Without needing to answer to any authority such as ICC, they can not only plunder, but use any means they can conjure in their godless, animal minds… including genocide, mutilation, political imprisonment, lawless executions, rape, and any brutal, sub-human savagery that satisfies them.

    Yes, RSA is very guilty, and lost all credibility when they refused to challenge the result of the polls, in spite of specific evidence of widespread, gross corrupting of the process by ZANUPF. By choosing to ignore the pleas for justice, which they could have manifest, Zuma shares in Mugabe’s guilt.

    Another “African solution to an African problem”, eh. An embarrassment for all the human race. God help us.