South African government applies for warrant to arrest Vladimir Putin

The Democratic Alliance (DA) can today reveal that, in direct response to pressure from our court application to enforce the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) directive for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be arrested on charges of war crimes for the abduction of Ukrainian children, South Africa’s National Director for Public Prosecutions (NDPP) on 17 July 2023 received a formal request from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for the issuance of a warrant to arrest Putin.

This fact was confirmed in an order issued this morning by the Gauteng High Court in the DA’s case to compel the South African government to uphold its responsibility to arrest Putin.

The court also ordered that the Director-General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development must pay the DA’s legal costs in this case.

According to an affidavit belatedly filed yesterday by the Director-General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Advocate Doctor Mashabane, the Department formally requested the NDPP to issue a warrant of arrest for Putin in a letter that was delivered to Advocate Shamila Batohi on Monday, 17 July.

This was in the same week that the DA’s court application was heard.

This means that, thanks to the DA’s sustained political and legal pressure to ensure compliance with our country’s international obligations, the government on 17 July 2023 formally initiated the process to arrest Vladimir Putin should he set foot on our soil.

Despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s best efforts to shield Putin from accountability for his alleged war crimes – including through his absurd claim that the South African Constitution somehow prohibited him from complying with the ICC directive – it is now clear that the DA’s commitment to justice and the rule of law has been completely vindicated.

The Justice Department’s request for Batohi to issue a warrant of arrest for Putin directly contradicts Ramaphosa and confirms the DA’s stance that this was always the only correct course of action.

Thanks to the DA’s sustained fight on this issue, we have forced the South African government to uphold the rule of law in spite of Ramaphosa’s attempts to protect Putin.

This DA victory sends a clear message to the global community that, thanks to a patriotic official opposition and a justice system anchored in our Constitution, South Africa is not yet a lost cause in the global fight for a better world.

The DA hopes that our success in compelling the government to initiate arrest proceedings against Putin will begin to restore our country’s global standing and avert looming economic catastrophes like potential sanctions and South Africa’s ejection from the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).

The DA’s victory in this case sends a clear message to the global community that while the African National Congress (ANC) may have chosen the side of tyranny over justice and the rule of law, the DA and the people of South Africa will not allow a governing party who’s time in power is rapidly running out, to do so in our name.

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