Justice minister Ronald Lamola speaking at the twenty second session of the Assembly of States parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in New York on Wednesday asked the court to assess if it had fulfilled the expectations of humanity.
“The meaning of the Rome statute should be felt by citizens of the globe who are victims of genocide, citizens of the globe where the crimes to be prosecuted or prevented by the Rome statute are awaiting the outcomes of this conference with hope that impunity will not be allowed to continue.
“As the world marks the 10th year of president Mandela's passing, I would like us to revisit what he said when South Africa became a signatory to the Rome Statute.”
He said earlier this year, marked 25 years since the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
“We patted each other on the back and said the creation of a permanent International Criminal Court was a remarkable achievement by the international community, which brought hope that we could bring an end to impunity for serious crimes under international law, and to address the threat to international peace and security and to the well-being of the international community as a whole.”
Lamola said it is therefore appropriate to ask if the expectations of humanity have been fulfilled.
“Have we arrested the horrors of inhumanity visited upon humanity by human beings like you and me.
“Or perhaps in more direct terms can we say with conviction 10 years after Madiba has transcended humanity that we have an effectively functioning International Criminal Court.”
Lamola said various conflicts in different parts of the world attested to the need for international justice.
“In these deeply disturbing times, where we daily witness the harrowing devastation caused by armed conflicts in various parts of the world, it is imperative that justice be done and that all the victims see justice being done by holding those responsible to account for the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in these conflicts,” Lamola said.