South Africa welcomes the election of Ms Fatou Bensouda as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

The South African delegation to the annual meeting of the Assembly of State Parties of the International Criminal Court, led by Mr. Andries Nel, Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, on behalf of South Africa welcomed the election of Ms. Fatou Bensouda as the Court’s new Prosecutor on Monday, 12 December 2011 in New York.  

In congratulating Ms Bensouda on her election, Deputy Minister Andries Nel, lauded the fact that the position of Prosecutor will be filled by an African woman. He recalled that African States were amongst the strongest proponents of the establishment of the International Criminal Court, that an African state, Senegal, was the first state in the world to ratify the Rome statute and that Africa remains the largest regional bloc of member states with 33 of the 120 States Parties. Five of the 18 judges of the ICC are from Africa.

Deputy Minister Nel reiterated South Africa’s support for the International Criminal Court and struggle against impunity and its commitment to honour its legal obligations under the Rome Statute which has been incorporated into South African domestic law by the Implementation of the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court, Act 27 of 2002.

Ms Bensouda,  a former Minister of Justice of the Gambia and presently the Court’s Deputy Prosecutor, was appointed by acclaim after she emerged as a consensus candidate. A search committee process, on which Ambassador Baso Sangqu represented the Africa region, interviewed a number of candidates with a view of finding the most suitable and best qualified person.

The Assembly which is being held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from the 12 – 22 December 2011 will also fill six vacancies for judges in the Court as well as considering reports on the functioning of the Court’s work and approving its budget.

For further information, please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO on + 27 82 884 5974

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Pretoria

13 December 2011
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