JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court is “dangerous” and South Africa should withdraw from it, a leader of the ruling African National Congress said on Monday, defending the government’s decision not to arrest indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
President Jacob Zuma’s government and the ANC have come under fire for allowing Bashir, who faces charges of genocide at the court, to slip out of South Africa through a military air base after attending an African Union summit last week.
“If I was in government, I would say give notice, get out of that, it was not what was envisioned. It is a tool in the hands of the powerful to destroy the weak and it is a court that is focusing on Africa, Eastern Europe and Middle East,” ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said on Talk Radio 702.
“Have nothing to do with that, because it is dangerous.”
The South African government said it had granted legal immunity to Bashir, along with all delegates attending the AU summit.
Zuma is due to answer questions on Bashir’s departure in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Reporting by Peroshni Govender; editing by Andrew Roche