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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Business Day Live by Joe Brock.]

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has given SA more time to explain why it failed to arrest Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, accused by the court of war crimes, when he visited the country in June.

As an ICC signatory, SA is obliged to implement warrants from the court. But when Mr Bashir visited for an African Union (AU) summit, the government refused to arrest him, and allowed him to leave the country in violation of a domestic court order.

The ICC had initially given SA until October 5 to defend its decision. But the government, currently reviewing a High Court ruling that authorities erred in letting Mr Bashir leave, said it needed more time to respond.

SA should report back to the ICC on the progress of legal proceedings no later than December 31, the court, based in the Dutch city of The Hague, said in a statement.

The failure to detain Mr Bashir was a blow to the ICC, which has come under criticism from African states for what they see as its disproportionate focus on their continent.

The African National Congress (ANC) said in October that it wanted to withdraw from the ICC because powerful nations use it to “trample” human rights and pursue “selfish interests”.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Mr Bashir in 2009, accusing him of masterminding genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region, where an estimated 300,000 people were killed and more than 2-million displaced.

South Africa at a Glance
57 700 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.5% y/y in March 2019 (CPI) & +6.2 y/y in March 2019 (PPI)
1.4% q/q (4th quarter of 2018)
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