ICC is not a precondition for us to be able to prosecute war crimes - Masutha

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha says the International Crimes Court is not a precondition for any country to be able to prosecute war crimes or crimes against humanity.

The International Crimes Bill has been tabled before Parliament.

This bill will allow for South Africa's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In April, the High Court in Pretoria ordered government to revoke its notice to withdraw from the ICC, as government’s notice to withdraw from the court without approval from Parliament amounted to a breach of the separation of powers.

Masutha spoke to Stephen Grootes about the aims of this Bill and why government is so intent on withdrawing from the ICC.

In the first instance under the principle of complimentary, it is actually required of the country where the person is. For example if President al-Bashir is in South Africa and is liable to be prosecuted, the expectation would have been that South Africa take the initiative and only if South Africa is not able to proceed, then refer the person or extradite the person to be tried in the Hague...

Michael Masutha, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

Our understanding is that the Rome statute as it stands creates the necessary balance between the international law which our courts have confirmed is still enforced, that recognises diplomatic immunity which according to us Omar al-Bashir enjoyed under international customary law....

Michael Masutha, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

Click on the link below to hear more from Masutha...


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