South Africa’s opposition wants Ramaphosa to arrest Putin

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi. PHOTO | SERGEI CHIRIKOV | POOL | AFP


  • The ICC issued a warrant of arrest against Putin for alleged war crimes in Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
  • Opposition leader Steenhuisen says South Africa has a legal obligation to cooperate with the ICC.
  •  South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute.


The leader of South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) John Steenhuisen has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to arrest Russian leader Vladimir Putin should he set foot in the country.

On March 18, 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant of arrest against Putin for alleged war crimes in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

And with South Africa being a signatory to the Rome Statute, Mr Steenhuisen says the country has a legal obligation to cooperate with the ICC and help put President Putin behind bars when he lands in South Africa.

“I think that any responsible president would advise Putin, given the ICC arrest warrant, that he should perhaps not come,” said Mr Steenhuisen.

“But if he does come, I think South Africa is obliged — if it’s for the rule of law and (if you) govern according to the constitutional principles — you would be obliged to execute that arrest warrant.

“If he is here, we have a legal obligation. The principle of the rule of law means equality before the law, and South Africa is obliged to execute that. We have not left the ICC. We’ve remained signatories. Putin must be arrested,” he added.

The Russian leader is scheduled to attend the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in South Africa in August, as confirmed by the International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor.

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About Joel Cholo Brooks 14504 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.
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