Fight to keep South Africa in ICC‚ urges Goldstone
Former Constitutional Court justice Richard Goldstone‚ the first chief prosecutor of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda‚ has urged civil society to ensure South Africa remains in the International Criminal Court.
Goldstone‚ who prosecuted key war crimes suspects including the Bosnian Serb political and military leaders‚ Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić‚ was speaking at a symposium of the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability held at the University of Cape Town on Saturday.
On Thursday‚ Karadžić was found guilty of genocide in Srebrenica‚ war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment
In June last year‚ Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visited South Africa to attend an African Union summit‚ and although Al-Bashir had been indicted for war crimes‚ crimes against humanity and genocide‚ he was not arrested.
A few months later‚ the ANC said it wanted the country to withdraw from the ICC because it no longer needed its services.
Goldstone said on Saturday it was unfortunate that the ANC wanted the country to withdraw. “The time has come for the same civil society who campaigned for the country to join the ICC to become much more active to ensure that South Africa doesn't leave the ICC‚" he said.
Another panellist‚ Fatiha Serour from Algeria‚ said law on the continent often had double standards‚ the SABC reported.
“The concept of double standards when we make law is also being used as a way to get out‚ shrinking space for human rights on the continent.”
Her colleague‚ Femi Falana from Nigeria‚ said the ICC should not be used as a scare tactic. “We must challenge the allegation that this court is out to harass and embarrass leaders of African continent.”