The statement followed the recent furore over the presence of Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir in South Africa for the African Union summit and the fact that South Africa failed to heed an international ICC warrant for his arrest for genocide, allowing him to leave the country unimpeded.
The ANC said the NEC meeting in Tshwane had discussed recent developments relating to the ICC and Bashir.
“In its analysis, the NEC reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights on the continent of Africa and beyond. It further noted that South Africa, correctly, had been a vocal proponent of the establishment of the International Criminal Court. We believed, as we still do, that an independent and objective instrument was needed to bring to an end the heinous crimes against humanity and the violation of human rights which were then very prevalent on the Continent.
“We believed, as we still do, that those who committed such crimes must be prosecuted and punished by an impartial body empowered by international cooperation to defend the universal values of justice. The matter relating to the President al-Bashir therefore is of major concern to the African National Congress and we view the allegations levelled against him in a serious light.
“It is our view, however, that the ICC has gradually diverted from its mandate and allowed itself to be influence by powerful non-member states. We perceive it as tending to act as a proxy instrument for these states, who see no need to subject themselves to its discipline, to persecute African leaders and effect regime change on the continent.
“It is being used as a court against Africa, deliberately oblivious to the fact that Africa countries themselves were vocal in their support for the necessity of such a mechanism, with for example, Senegal being the first country to ratify the Rome Statute.
“The African National Congress calls African Union to strengthen its own institutions designed to promote human rights and protect the people of Africa against crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression where they cannot find justice in their own countries.
“Institutions such as the African Court on Human and People’s Rights must be strengthened with more countries ratifying the protocol to ensure that, in Africa’s interest and within the African Union, we are able to find solutions to the challenges confronting Africa. Noting that South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute, the ANC calls on our government to work together with the rest of the continent to protect the ICC from undue influence and to restore its credibility within the continent. This is as much a responsibility of Africa as it is of the ICC and those who ominously seek to influence it from outside.”
Following the ANC NEC meeting, the party also said: “The Alliance Summit is convened arising from a call made by the President of the African National Congress, Comrade Jacob Zuma, for unity within the Alliance partners and amongst the Alliance partners themselves. The NEC is unanimous in its view that the unity and cohesion of the Alliance is sacrosanct and that determined action should be taken to preserve, continue to build and strengthen the Alliance’s capacity to provide the necessary leadership to society.
“The submission of the ANC to the Alliance Summit will be further interrogated by the organisation in anticipation of this important meeting.”
The alliance summit is to be held from the 25th June to the 3rd July.