Western Cape Premier Threatens To Arrest Vladimir Putin
A senior member of South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has threatened to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if comes to South Africa.
Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, said he will arrest Putin if he “sets foot in the Western Cape” and is prepared to face whatever consequences for his stance.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Winde said if Putin does come to South Africa for the BRICS summit in August, the Western Cape will set its law enforcement officers on him. He said:
If the Russian leader sets foot in the Western Cape, we, as the provincial government, will have him arrested by our own Western Cape Government-funded Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers. If the South African Police Service is not instructed to act, we will.
Winde said the Western Cape will arrest Putin in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
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Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and millions of Ukrainians have fled the country and are now refugees in several European countries.
Tens of thousands of students who were attending universities in Ukraine were also forced to flee amid the chaos and blaring air raids warning sirens.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) last month issued an arrest warrant against Putin for alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine.
Kremlin is accused of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children and separating them from their families.
The warrant against Putin in March means Pretoria, due to host the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc summit this year, would have to detain him on arrival.
The South African government has not said whether it will arrest Putin if he comes to the August summit.
In an interview with Newzroom Afrika on Thursday, Winde criticised the Government of President Cyril Ramaphosa for not stating what will happen to Putin if he comes to South Africa. He said:
I am very happy to make it quite clear in this province, that if Vladimir Putin comes into this province later in the year, I will do whatever is necessary, and we will follow through and make sure that he is arrested and faces his day in court with the ICC.
OHCHR has estimated the number of deaths of civilians, or non-armed individuals, in Ukraine at over 8 500 thousand since the start of the war on 24 February 2022.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a judicial body whose mandate is to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
The ICC only has jurisdiction over these crimes when they are committed by individuals who are nationals of or whose crimes occurred on the territory of a state party to the Rome Statute, or if the United Nations Security Council refers a case to the ICC.
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