Status on why South Africa has not ratified the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Goverment.

QOUTE

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 1413

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 18 OF 25 SEPTEMBER 2009      

(1)  Why South Africa has not ratified the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance?

(2)   Whether South Africa intends ratifying, if not, why not? If so;

     (a)    When?

     (b)  What steps will be taken to ensure that the provisions are implemented?       
 
REPLY:

 1)  Why South Africa has not ratified the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance?

Following the adoption of the African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance by the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Assembly on 30 January 2007 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Member States of the African Union had to wait for the Charter to be opened for signature and ratification by the African Union Commission which happened much later. In the meantime, the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation mandated its Office of the Chief State Law Adviser [IL] to look into the Charter’s compliance with South Africa’s international obligations while the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development provided a legal opinion on the Charter’s compliance with South Africa’s domestic law.

Having obtained legal advice from the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser [IL] and Justice and Constitutional Development, the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation prepared and submitted a Cabinet Memorandum which was endorsed by Cabinet on 14 May 2009. As this Charter is an international agreement falling within section 231(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, Parliamentary approval is required in order for it to enter into force.  As soon as ratification has been confirmed, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation will prepare the Presidential Minute and Explanatory Memorandum for the President’s consideration.

2)    Whether South Africa intends ratifying, if not, why not? If so;

a)   When?

      Yes, as soon as national procedures for ratification of international agreements are complied with as outlined in (B) above, an instrument of ratification will be deposited with the African Union Commission. Currently, only two AU Member States have ratified the instrument namely, Ethiopia and Mauritania. The Charter will come into force after fifteen Member States have ratified the instrument.

b)   What steps will be taken to ensure that the provisions are implemented?       
 
Following the ratification or accession to any international instrument, the provisions of the instrument are domesticated and become part of national laws to facilitate implementation.

UNQOUTE

 

 

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