NEWS & ANALYSIS

Withdrawal from ICC irresponsible - EFF

Fighters question lack of consultation, say ANC must not run this country like it is their own private shop

THE EFF CONDEMNS THE ANC GOVERNMENT’S INTENDED WITHDRAWAL FROM THE ICC

The EFF has noted with concern the intension of the ANC’s government to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), a move that may be seen with suspicion especially because it comes shortly after Burundi’s similar decision. We are concerned that the ANC government has made a unilateral decision without necessary consultation

The EFF must make it clear that we do not support the ICC in its current form and have grown increasingly suspicious of its decisions. In its existence, the ICC has only ever successfully tried Africans and incarcerated them. It has failed dismally to act on war crimes committed by superpowers such as the United States and the United Kingdom in unjust wars such as in Iraq and Libya. The ICC has shown bias and underhandedness in the manner they select the cases they try. We strongly believe that Africa is a soft target for this judiciary body and Africans will never be treated with fairness under its current attitude.

However, the EFF has always advocated for an alternative and independent African supported body that will keep the continent in check. It is regrettable that important continental gatherings such as the Abuja Summits (dating as far back as 1989), the AU summits under the banner of NEPAD and countless others never pronounced cogently on a roadmap towards a watchdog body that would police war crimes and other crimes against humanity. It is in this context that a vacuum was created in which the ICC found expression.

And so while the ICC is not the best body to fill that space, it is irresponsible of the South African government to withdraw from it, thus placing itself under no oversight whatsoever. We should have sought for alternative avenues before taking such a drastic step. The intention to withdraw from such a body without committing to an alternative one is tacitly anarchist in nature.

We are also shocked that government has not consulted other organs of state to take such a drastic step. It should have at least sought counsel from the judiciary and at the very least, informed parliament of its intent. In essence, this unilateral decision has undermined the constitutional principle of ‘separation of powers’ in which the three organs of state are separate but interdependent. Government has the obligation to consult with parliament before making such a drastic policy move that may have implications on the running of the state.

It is also not clear what the rush is behind this move. There is no urgent matter that is pending to warrant such a hasty decision. Unless the ANC knows of a reason they are not sharing with the rest of the country. We strongly urge the ANC government to reconsider their decision and return the matter to proper internal consultation before committing the country to an undertaking with such far-reaching implications. The ANC must not run this country like it is their own private shop. 

They must not act like voting sheep on serious policy issues such as this one. This is how they embarrassed us at the UN when they effectively voted for the assassination of Gadaffi. Burundi may well have their reasons for withdrawing from the world body, but they have their own constitutional ambit within which they operate. We have ours within which we must operate as well. The ANC must finally respect that they must fall in line.

Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 21 October 2016