South African Court Blocks Government's ICC Withdrawal Efforts As Unconstitutional

Zuma's government had a falling out with the ICC over its refusal to arrest Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir during an African Union summit in 2015.

Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Francis Katsaira has told parliament that Malawi will not join the mass withdrawal of African countries who are pulling out from International Criminal Court (ICC) created to prosecute those who commit the gravest atrocities.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha, said that while the high court decision meant a delay, "the intention to withdraw still stands, as this is a policy decision of the executive".

The country's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, had protested before launching court action to challenge the government's move. South Africa resisted pressure to arrest him, arguing he had diplomatic immunity.

United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres said he welcomed Gambia's decision and expressed hope that the court's members "will continue to further strengthen the court through a constructive dialogue".

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Victims' only hope for justice is to be heard in court, he said, and urged the Kenyan government to support the court and embrace an global justice system, according to a Hivisasa report.

The president and ministers, the judge added, "are ordered forthwith to revoke the notice of withdrawal". Gambia's President Adama Barrow, elected in December, said earlier this month that the tiny West African nation would remain in the ICC. As one of the original supporters of the court, its announcement of withdrawal last October was a major blow to the future of the Netherlands-based court that prosecutes war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The court ruling is a setback for President Jacob Zuma's government, which could appeal.

The ICC has had to fight off allegations of pursuing a neo-colonial agenda in Africa, where most of its investigations have been based.

Government argued it was Cabinet's decision to approve the notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute, insisting South Africa's obligation under the Rome Statute had impeded peacekeeping and peace negotiations.

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"It's expected that the executive go back to parliament".

It's an important ruling for global justice both in South Africa and beyond.

They are accusing ICC of focusing on human right abuse in Africa while neglecting.

Three African states - South Africa, Gambia and Burundi - previous year signalled their intention to quit the ICC.

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