This was bound to happen, as the South African Government will both hold BRICS Ministerial Meetings in June and BRICS General Summit August this year. Therefore, the ANC and the government had to figure out something. That is has now appeared and they are showing allegiance to Russia.
That is the message and the memo. Not that this is new or anything. Pretoria is bound by the BRICS agreements and the cordial relations with the allies of the BRICS. It would have been a surprise and a shocker if they would have arrested or charged Putin on South African soil That would have been a monumental task and an international quagmire of epic proportions.
The ANC and the government of the Republic already had a bad predicament. As the International Criminal Court has issued charges and pending arrest of Vladimir Putin. This means that his international travels could give way and reasons for his sudden arrest. Even as a head of state and an executive of a sovereign independent Russia.
This has solved and resolved the “illegalities” of a visit and legitimized Putin’s stay in South Africa. It has given him a reason to come and visit. That’s the gist of the reason move. However, I am not shocked. The same nation allowed the same to happen to the former Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir who visited the nation in 2017.
When that happened, the ICC wrote this in advance of the visit:
“Today, 6 July 2017, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) composed of Judges Cuno Tarfusser, Presiding, Chang-ho Chung, and Marc Perrin de Brichambaut who appended an individual opinion, delivered in open session its decision finding that South Africa failed to comply with its obligations by not arresting and surrendering Omar Al-Bashir to the Court while he was on South African territory between 13 and 15 June 2015. However, the Chamber considered that it is not warranted to refer South Africa’s non-compliance to the Assembly of States Parties (“ASP”) or the Security Council of the United Nations (“UNSC”)” (ICC, 06.07.2017).
We can most likely see something similar happen when Putin arrives or is scheduled to arrive in South Africa. It is the same thing all over again. The Republic of South Africa haven’t notified that they are leaving the Rome Statute or the ICC. Therefore, they will possibly breach the agreement and there will be ramification that can end up int the Council of United Nations.
We can now also see that the BRICS coalition is more important than anything for the current leadership of South Africa. They are valuing BRICS over other agreements and legal instruments it has signed itself too.
It is surely interesting times we are living in. I am not shocked or surprised this was bound to happen. It is just happening 6 years ago last time and now the same thing is occurring again. To think that its changes that it’s a Russian President versus a Sudanese one is naïve. When the RSA has allowed it to happen before… and in 2023 would be no different. Peace.