SA’s ICC exit described as something that Trump would do

The government has announced its decision to remove the country as a party to the Rome Statute.

FILE: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been described as something that American presidential candidate Donald Trump would do.

This is among the reactions to government's decision to remove the country as a party to the Rome Statute, which it ratified in 2002.

The move is in response to the High Court in Pretoria's finding that government's failure to detain Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and hand him over to the ICC was unconstitutional.

Al Bashir was in the country last year for the African Union summit in Johannesburg.

Wits University professor of international relations John Stremlau says South Africa was seen as being better than the likes of America, which did not ratify the Rome Statute.

"I just thought South Africa might present itself better than the United states. Does South Africa want to be identified with the likes of Donald Trump? He would take this position in a nanosecond."

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh says this is a disaster for South Africa's human rights record.

"It puts South Africa's standing in the international community in a very poor light. It talks to the position and the leadership which our government is providing for us, which at the moment is in a really dismal state."

While the African National Congress has welcomed government's decision, the Democratic Alliance says it's going to court to have it set aside.