South Africa’s ruling party says it wants the country to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, saying the court has lost direction and no longer fulfills its mandate.
The decision comes after a spat with The Hague-based court over South Africa’s failure to arrest Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir when he arrived in the country in June to attend an African Union summit.
“The National General Council has just resolved that South Africa should withdraw from the international court. However, only after we have followed certain processes,” says Obed Bapela, who heads the ANC party’s international relations commission.
The resolution comes out of an ANC policy meeting where leaders are reviewing the party’s policies ahead of the country’s municipal elections in 2016.
The ANC says it still believes in the founding principles of the ICC, such as prevention of genocide and stopping the violations of human rights, and that such principles led the country to become a signatory to the Rome Statute that governs the court.