PRETORIA , South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has stated that his government is still deliberating over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the country. The visit is scheduled to take place during a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summit later this year, despite an arrest warrant issued against Putin by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute, which obliges the country to arrest Putin if he sets foot on South African soil. However, Ramaphosa did not reveal what actions the government would take on the matter, stating that the issue is still under consideration.
During a State visit by Namibian President Hage Geingob, Ramaphosa confirmed that South Africa had invited Putin to attend the summit but would not be drawn on the government’s response to the ICC’s arrest warrant. Geingob, on the other hand, believes that South Africa should use its own laws to determine Putin’s fate, as the country is being targeted by Western nations on the issue.
Geingob’s comments highlight the tensions between South Africa’s obligation to uphold the ICC’s arrest warrant and its relationship with Russia. The situation is reminiscent of when South Africa controversially allowed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to attend an African Union summit in Johannesburg in 2015, despite an ICC arrest warrant against him.
The issue of Putin’s visit is likely to continue to be a point of contention for the South African government and the international community, particularly given Russia’s current geopolitical climate.
Source -MasimbaNews ✍🏿