SA: Let Kenya tackle issues internally
06 September 2013, 16:01
Pretoria - South Africa supports the trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto to be held in Kenya, SA Deputy International Relations Minister
Ebrahim Ebrahim said on Friday.
"South Africa's position supports the AU (African
Union) position which says if there is domestic capabilities to try them
domestically, then that should be the course of action," he said.
"The AU decided that Kenya has primary jurisdiction on
the case. Our position will be informed by the approach adopted by the Kenyan
authorities and the accused."
Kenyan lawmakers on Thursday backed a motion to pull out of
the International Criminal Court, snubbing The Hague-based tribunal ahead of
the trial of Ruto scheduled for next week.
Parliament must now vote on a bill within 30 days to
formalise steps for the actual withdrawal.
On Tuesday, the ICC trial of Ruto opens on three counts of
crimes against humanity. He is accused of having organised 2007/08
post-election unrest which killed at least 1100 people and forced more than 600
000 people to flee their homes.
Ruto's case comes roughly two months before President
Kenyatta goes on trial on charges of crimes against humanity, including murder,
rape, persecution and deportation.
Both Kenyatta and Ruto have previously stated that they
would co-operate with the court.
On Friday, Ebrahim said he was now unsure whether the duo
would attend the trials.
"We don't know exactly whether they are going to appear
and we are going to just see what actually happens."
Kenya is the first country to hold such a vote to leave the ICC court.