South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), is trying to pressure the government to detain the Kremlin leader and hand him over to the International Criminal Court.
South Africa is the current leader of the BRICS group of developing countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Putin accepted an invitation to the annual BRICS summit in Johannesburg after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Russian president. It was probably during this trip that he was arrested.
In May, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement was sent to the court, but only now – under pressure from the opposition – have his words been released.
“Russia has made it clear that arresting the sitting president is tantamount to a declaration of war,” Ramaphosa wrote in court documents. “The risk of going to war with Russia is unconstitutional,” he added.
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The South African president firmly believes that this goes against his duty to protect the country. “I have a constitutional duty to protect the national sovereignty, peace and security of the Republic and to respect, protect, promote and fulfill the rights of the people of the Republic to life and security,” he said. Ramaphosa added that it was not certain whether Putin would attend the August 22-24 summit.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March for his role in the mass deportation of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories. Despite this, President Ramaphosa has publicly stated that he expects the Russian president to attend the BRICS summit in August.
Later, South Africa asked Russia to attend the summit, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. But, this was denied.
Source: Daily Maverick
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