South Africa’s leading opposition party said on Tuesday it had taken legal action to force the government to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he were to attend a planned summit in the country.
In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Putin – over accusations that Russia unlawfully deported Ukrainian children – who is to visit Cape Town for a Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) bloc meeting in August.
On Tuesday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) party said it launched a court application to ensure the government detains the Russian leader and hands him over to the ICC “should President Putin set foot in South Africa.”
“This pre-emptory court action aims to ensure that South Africa upholds its obligations,” DA shadow justice minister Glynnis Breytenbach said in a statement.
An ICC member, South Africa, which has close diplomatic ties with Moscow, is now in a diplomatic dilemma.