South Africa’s Naledi Pandor Questions ICC’s Inconsistencies

Seeking Answers at The Hague

South Africa Questions ICC's Inconsistencies

Minister Naledi Pandor’s recent visit to the International Criminal Court (ICC) headquarters was underpinned by a crucial agenda: to question the ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan about the apparent disparity in the court’s treatment of global leaders. Notably, the issuance of an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, as opposed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was at the heart of the inquiry.

A Plea for Equitable Justice

Pandor’s dialogue with ICC officials was not just a routine check-in. It was a strategic effort to understand the progress of a significant referral made by South Africa. This referral, aimed at initiating an investigation into alleged war crimes by Netanyahu and his government, reflects South Africa’s commitment to justice and accountability on the global stage.

An Unanswered Query

During her press briefing in Pretoria, Pandor shared her dissatisfaction with the lack of a definitive answer from Prosecutor Khan. Despite her straightforward question regarding the disparate issuance of arrest warrants, the response was seen as lacking. This moment of non-response highlights a broader concern about transparency and consistency in the ICC’s decision-making processes.

“What I felt he did not answer me sufficiently on was, I asked him ‘why was he able to issue an arrest warrant for Mr Putin and is unable to do so for the Prime Minister of Israel’. He could not answer and did not answer that question. But I read into what he said that the investigations are still under way and until their conclusion, he cannot pronounce on this matter,” Pandor remarked.

Persistence for Resolution

Despite the hurdles, Pandor’s resolve remains strong. Her insistence on revisiting the matter with the ICC signals South Africa’s determination to see through its referral to a conclusive end. This stance not only underscores the country’s dedication to international justice but also poses critical questions about the criteria and mechanisms guiding ICC’s prosecutorial decisions.

A Longstanding Investigation

Khan’s revelation of a three-year-long investigation into Gaza’s situation, coupled with his personal experiences at the Rafa border crossing, adds another layer to the complex narrative of international legal proceedings. These developments illustrate the challenges faced by the ICC in accessing conflict zones and gathering the necessary evidence to proceed with prosecutions.


Through its engagement with the ICC, South Africa is navigating the intricate landscape of international law, seeking to ensure that justice is served without bias. This journey reflects the broader challenges of the international community in addressing and rectifying global injustices, a task that remains paramount for the ICC and its member states.

What do you think?


Written by Siphiwe Dlamini

Name: Siphiwe Dlamini
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Journalist and Political Analyst

Siphiwe Dlamini is a dynamic and passionate journalist and political analyst based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a unique blend of academic expertise and practical experience, Siphiwe has established himself as a trusted voice in the field of journalism, particularly in political reporting and analysis.

Siphiwe holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, where he honed his skills in investigative reporting, news writing, and multimedia storytelling. Additionally, he pursued a degree in Political Science, deepening his understanding of political systems, international relations, and policy analysis. This interdisciplinary educational background equips him with a comprehensive understanding of the socio-political landscape, enabling him to provide insightful commentary on current affairs.

Throughout his career, Siphiwe has demonstrated a commitment to journalistic integrity and a relentless pursuit of truth. He has worked for several prominent media outlets, including leading newspapers, television networks, and online platforms. His reporting has covered a wide range of topics, from domestic politics and social issues to international affairs and human rights.

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