South African Judge blocks President Zuma from pulling out of ICC

Filed under: Breaking News,International News |


A South African judge has blocked the country’s planned withdrawal from the international criminal court (ICC), saying the move is unconstitutional without prior parliamentary approval.


Sitting in the high court in Pretoria, deputy judge president Phineas Mojapelo said on Wednesday that any move to pull out of the ICC must be “on the basis of the expressed authority of the constitution”. He ordered Jacob Zuma, the South African president, to retract the country’s “invalid” notification to the court of withdrawal.


Michael Masutha, the justice minister, said the government would decide how to proceed, including a possible appeal, after reading the full judgment but indicated it still intended to press ahead with the withdrawal. He described the judgment as a policy decision.


Pretoria said last year it planned to leave the ICC after receiving criticism for ignoring the court’s order to arrest the visiting Sudanese president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is accused of genocide and war crimes, in June 2015.


Wednesday’s decision in Pretoria high court was largely expected as Mojapelo had already told government lawyers during a previous hearing that he was concerned that officials had exceeded their constitutional powers.


The application to stop the withdrawal was brought by one of South Africa’s two main opposition parties – the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA).


“We have seen how our country’s approach to foreign policy under [president] Jacob Zuma has been at loggerheads with the human rights-based foreign policy spearheaded by the late president Nelson Mandela. By irrationally withdrawing from the ICC, South Africa is out of touch with other progressive and democratic nations on the continent,” James Selfe, MP and chairman of the DA’s federal executive, told reporters earlier this week.


The government will decide whether to appeal, officials said.


5 Responses to South African Judge blocks President Zuma from pulling out of ICC

  1. Good move judges how I wish u are in Zambia.

    February 22, 2017 at 9:41 pm

  2. This just makes those who respect the rule of law and separation of powers in Zambia to envy the South African judge. While there could be some level of confidence still in the Zambian judiciary a lot of trust has been eroded!

    @ mushala the Zambian judges would have assented to the presidents action!

    February 23, 2017 at 12:33 am

  3. Zambia has got no judges that’ s why every decision/ judgment passed is always done so by the president. The so called judges in Zambia are just carbon papers/ copies of the decisions made by the president especially in the PF’ s Edgar Chagwa Lungu administration. He is the supreme judge, the supreme police, the supreme ECZ director and the supreme everything such that very soon he’ ll start even appointing the chief chickens in the homes and villages. Zambia is fast becoming a rotten nation because there is no separation of powers and every government wing/ Department is regarded toothless. The courts in Zambia are compromised and judges are mere paper tigers. If Edgar Chagwa Lungu roars, they all scamper away like mosquitoes. They are a first class department in Zambia which enjoys the highest level of corruption with State House. In Zambia, that withdrawal issue from ICC as long as it is a decree from the mouth of Edgar Chagwa Lungu is acceptable by all the judges and some fake parliamentarians. I would rather worship God Almighty than a fake human being with no proper direction.

    Muziya Mulanga
    February 23, 2017 at 4:21 am

  4. This is good news not just for South Africans but for Zambians as well. Lungu was being encouraged to leave ICC by Zuma,Mugabe and Mu7 etc. With this judgment Zuma will find it difficult to proceed with the Exit. This is a victory for Constitutional Democracy. Zuma’s dictatorial tendencies have been curbed for now. This makes Lungu’s quest to pull Zambia out of the ICC much more difficult. The filing of the Petition with ICJ makes Lungu’s ICC Exit intentions untenable. Lungu has so many Stressors to worry about. The nagging Petition,ICC,the dying economy,illegitimacy etc.Now that the 6 months is up HH & GBM should take their Petition to ICJ and becoz Lungu was not Democractically, Lawfully and Constitutionally elected and inaugurated his case is very weak. Lungu’s refusal to handover the Presidency to the Speaker of Parliament during the Petition Hearing is the biggest Constitutional breach he made which amounts to a coup detat. Lungu continues to commit Treason by illegally clinging on to Power. Tough times ahead for Lungu.

    February 23, 2017 at 6:40 am

  5. Only those who abuse office are afraid of the ICC.
    So what if the majority of people dragged before the ICC are Africans if they committed crimes.
    Is Zuma a credible leader after using taxpayers’ money on personal projects.

    Who initiated the withdrawal from the ICC?
    Nkurunzinza of Burundi
    M7 of Uganda
    R Mugabe of Zimbabwe
    Yahya Jameh former dictator of The Gambia
    Al- Bashir of Sudan
    Just look at that list.
    And our President of less than 2 years identifies himself with the interests of those ruthless dictators?
    I cannot believe this!

    Leadership is a serious matter
    February 24, 2017 at 10:14 am

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31