Cyril Ramaphosa

In a previously sealed affidavit to the High Court of Gauteng, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that any attempt to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin at the BRICS summit would be a “declaration of war” against Russia, News24 reported on July 18.

Read also: Russia’s war against Ukraine to top agenda at BRICS summit, says South African president

Ramaphosa further termed such an action as “reckless” and “unconstitutional,” arguing against enforcing the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for Putin.

“It would be a reckless, unconstitutional and unlawful exercise of the powers conferred upon the government to declare war with Russia by arresting President Putin,” Ramaphosa stated.

“It would be inconsistent with our Constitution to risk engaging in war with Russia. I have constitutional obligations to protect the national sovereignty, peace and security of the republic, and to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights of the people of the republic to life, safety and security, among other rights in the Bill of Rights.”

Read also: Traitors from Crimea: Which Ukrainian athletes swapped flags to sign up for Team Putin

The president initially wished to keep this statement from the public eye. However, on July 18, the court overruled the president’s request to keep the affidavit sealed to keep the interactions with the ICC on the warrant of arrest against President Putin confidential.”

By July 16, the Kremlin is yet to confirm if Putin will be attending the August BRICS summit in South Africa in person.

Read also: Ukraine, US to work on ensuring grain exports to Africa, Asia, says FM Kuleba

On March 17, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Russia’s children’s ombudsman, Maria Lvova-Belova, for their involvement in unlawful removal of children from Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022.

Having ratified the Rome Statute, South Africa is obliged to enforce warrants issued by the ICC.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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