ANC: ICC no longer useful

Johannesburg - The International Criminal Court (ICC) is no longer a useful organisation, the ANC said on Sunday, in the wake of a court application to compel the government to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

"The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress holds a view that the… ICC is no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended," said the ruling party in a statement.

It described it as "a court of last resort for the prosecution of crimes against humanity".

Earlier on Sunday, the High Court in Pretoria granted an interim order preventing al-Bashir from leaving South Africa until an application, that he be arrested and handed to the ICC, is heard.

Two warrants were issued by the ICC in 2009 and 2010 for his arrest, to face charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Al-Bashir is in the country for the African Union summit being held in Johannesburg on Sunday and Monday.

The application to compel the government to arrest al-Bashir was brought by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) and is currently being heard by Judge Hans Fabricius.

According to Caroline James, a lawyer with SALC, South Africa was party to the Rome Statute and thus obliged to carry out the arrest.

The ANC said those ICC statutes compelling all UN member countries to sign the Rome Statute should be reviewed.

“Countries, mainly in Africa and Eastern Europe, who due to their unwavering commitment to upholding human rights and universal justice, have elected to be signatories to the ICC, continue to unjustifiably bear the brunt of the decisions of the ICC with Sudan being the latest example,” the ANC said.