South Africa has declared diplomatic immunity for foreign officials who will be attending the BRICS conference which will be held in August.
According to reports, this would pave the way for Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, to attend.
Foreign Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor stated in a gazette notice on Monday that officials attending the BRICS foreign ministers meeting beginning on Thursday in South Africa are also covered by the immunity.
The notice was issued in accordance with the diplomatic immunities and privileges law, which states that representatives of any state attending an international conference or meeting held in South Africa are entitled to immunity, as are officials and experts of the UN, any specialized agency or organization, and those representing any other state.
According to the spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Clayson Monyela, Ms. Pandor’s notification was normal and similar notices were provided each time a comparable international summit took place in South Africa.
The announcement comes as the South African government is under pressure to decide whether to let Mr. Putin, who is sought by the International Criminal Court for allegedly committing war crimes during his nation’s invasion of Ukraine, to participate.
South Africa, a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, is anticipated to carry out the war crimes warrant and detain Mr. Putin. However, the South African Defense Force, (SANDF) announced on Monday that it would not detain Mr. Putin if he attended the BRICS conference because it lacked the authority to do so.
Rudzani Maphwanywa, the head of the SANDF, while acknowledging the ICC’s warrant, stated that the army adheres to international law and respects diplomatic immunity.