SA taking steps to lay formal complaint with ICC against “war crimes” by Israel 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated South Africa’s position on the conflict in the Middle East, revealing that the country has taken steps towards laying a formal complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Israeli government for the “war crimes” in Gaza, Palestine.

President Ramaphosa said this during a media briefing in Doha on Wednesday as he wrapped up his state visit to Qatar.

“We stated our position as South Africa very clearly, that we are opposed to the operations that are ongoing, particularly as it is now targeting hospitals where babies, women and the injured are dying like flies and where the care of life is just something that has been completely ignored and put aside.

“As South Africa we have accordingly, together with many other countries in the world, saw fit to refer this whole Israeli government action to the International Criminal Court. We have put through a referral because we believe that war crimes are being committed there,” the President said. 

President Ramaphosa told journalists that South Africa does not condone the actions that were taken by Hamas earlier but similarly, “we condemn the actions that are now currently underway and believe that they warrant investigation by the ICC”. 

The President and his Qatari counterpart His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani were able to exchange views on the geopolitical situation in which the world finds itself particularly in relation to the crisis that is unfolding in Gaza. 

“We thank and applaud his Royal Highness for the interventions that Qatar is making to mediate in the midst of this crisis, particularly in relation to releasing hostages, but also in advocating a position that we as South Africa have been advocating that the crisis between Israel and Palestine needs to be resolved through a two state solution where Palestine emerges as a fully-fledged state as well as the continued existence of the Israeli state. 

“We both abhor what is happening right now in Gaza, which has now turned into a concentration camp, where genocide is taking place,” President Ramaphosa said. 

The President said that many people around the world are not pleased at what is unfolding in Gaza.

He reiterated that South Africa joins many other countries and organisations that is calling upon the ICC to investigate what is happening.

“And in fact, as we see it unfolding before our own eyes, we can see that real war crime is underway, particularly at that Shifa Hospital and we are completely opposed to what is happening and we are calling upon various countries to put pressure on Israel to immediately cease what they are doing. There is a desperate need for a ceasefire now, so that we can save more lives. Innocent lives are being lost and the rule of law is no longer being observed, where children are just being killed,” the President said. 

President Ramaphosa further told journalists that government has taken a very clear position in as far as the support for the struggle of the people of Palestine. 

He said government’s commitment to the struggle of the Palestinians is irrevocable and it will go beyond just political to being very practical. 

The President said government will be sending medical supplies and other products to offer assistance to the people of Gaza. -