Johannesburg, October 21, 2016 – South Africa’s government communicated its intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court to the United Nations secretary-general on October 20, 2016. The following quote is attributable to Dewa Mavhinga, Africa division senior researcher:

“South Africa’s proposed withdrawal from the International Criminal Court shows startling disregard for justice from a country long seen as a global leader on accountability for victims of the gravest crimes. Questions remain about whether the government even acted in line with its own laws for leaving the court. It’s important both for South Africa and the region that this runaway train be slowed down and South Africa’s hard-won legacy of standing with victims of mass atrocities be restored.”

For more information on whether the government has acted in accordance with its own laws in seeking to notify the UN secretary-general of ICC withdrawal, apparently without the approval of its parliament, please visit:

For more information on South African court rulings that South Africa violated its international and domestic legal obligations when it allowed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir – who is sought on two arrest warrants for serious crimes committed in Darfur – to travel to South Africa in June 2015 without arrest, please visit:

For more information on South Africa’s departure from prioritizing human rights in its foreign policy in recent years, please visit:

For more information on the views of activists across Africa on the need for greater support to the ICC, please visit: