‘ICC divorce could be bad news for Zuma’

Government's withdrawal from ICC is also likely to bring further controversy for President Jacob Zuma.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha addresses the media at the GCIS head office in Pretoria on 21 October 2016 to confirm South Africa's decision to withdraw from the International Crimanal Court. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Analysts say government's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is likely to prompt other African countries to follow suit.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha announced yesterday that South Africa is pulling out of the Rome Statute arguing that the move is aimed at strengthening its ability to resolve conflict on the continent.

Masutha announced South Africa's withdrawal from the ICC just a week after Burundi confirmed its plans to pull out.

Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza has been accused of torturing and murdering his political opponents, claims he denies.

South Africa's announcement is now expected to prompt other African countries, who have accused the tribunal of a bias against the continent, to announce their own plans to withdraw.

It's also likely to bring further controversy for President Jacob Zuma, who is facing protests over high university fees and scandal over his close relationship with the Gupta brothers, who allegedly had a hand in the appointment of cabinet minister.

In its one-page notice of withdrawal delivered to the United Nations in New York, South Africa argues that the court's rulings were sometimes "incompatible" with the "peaceful resolution of conflicts".