More importantly, it played a crucial role in ensuring the atrocities committed on the African continent over the years were dealt with, he told reporters at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg after a brief meeting with ICC president Justice Sang-Hyun Song.
“He [Song] and I reflected on the critical role that the International Criminal Court plays in entrenching international criminal justice,” Mogoeng said.
Song said he was in part reciprocating a visit Mogoeng had paid to the Hague in the Netherlands, where the ICC is based, in July last year.
He had come to South Africa with a delegation of the important legal institutions of the ICC, including the chief prosecutor.
“We are here to engage in dialogue on topics of justice, peace, and the rule of law,” Song said.
“We are meeting with key stakeholders such as Minister of Justice [Michael] Masutha, civil society academics, students and so on and so forth.”
The ICC was keen to hear from the South African experience.
South Africa was known worldwide for the “historic leap” it made from apartheid to democracy, with the help of truth-seeking and reconciliation.
“The Constitutional Court of this country is no doubt one of the very pillars on which South Africa’s democracy stands,” Song said.
“Since the very beginning, the ICC has enjoyed a very strong connection with South Africa. South Africa played a key role in the shaping of the Rome Statute.”
The Rome Statute was the treaty that established the ICC.
Song said the ICC represented a historic step in global efforts to end impunity for the most horrendous crimes known to mankind, and to prevent such atrocities from occurring again.
“I believe this message resonates strongly in South Africa. I look forward to many, many fruitful discussions on how we can work together to promote peace and justice worldwide through international law.”