The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that the Executive or Cabinet's notice to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) without Parliamentary approval amounts to a breach of separation of powers.
President Jacob Zuma and his Executive have been ordered to revoke the withdrawal.
In the decision to enter into international agreements, that's a prerogative of the Executive. When government or the Executive makes a decision, that decision to enter into such an agreement is then brought to Parliament and then ratified through decision-making processes in Parliament and essentially domesticated and becomes South African law.— Barry Bateman, EWN reporter
What the court found is that the notice of withdrawal is essentially an exercise of that legislative authority of Parliament. It amounts to a ratification.— Barry Bateman, EWN reporter
Justice Minister Michael Masutha says they will look at the judgement to see if they have been given 14 days to make the appeal or abide by the decision.
If the order and judgement relate solid to the question of what is the chicken and the egg, I can say that we grappled with that question at the level of government. We acted on strong legal opinion which suggested that the proper way to go about it is the way we did.— Michael Masutha, Justice Minister
We will have to decide if there is any need to appeal the decision, which could further delay the process or to act accordingly and reapproach Parliament.— Michael Masutha, Justice Minister
There has never been a process where Parliament took a policy decision to enter into an international agreement.— Michael Masutha, Justice Minister
Government's announcement to withdraw followed ICC's order for South African to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who slipped out of the country in contravention of a court order.
Listen to Minister Michael Masutha below to hear why SA wants to withdraw from the Rome Statute...