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South Africa decision to withdraw from the ICC remains says ANC

  JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) remains, ruling party African National Congress (ANC) chairperson for International Relations Subcommittee, Edna Molewa has said.

The hard stance position is in tandem with the party’s multiple resolutions reaffirmed during the party’s 5th National Policy Conference held in Johannesburg last month, Molewa said.

The senior politician said this in a newsletter which was released on Friday.

The newsletter focuses primarily on local and foreign hot current affairs topics.

The ICC wanted South Africa to arrest Sudanese President Al-Bashir when he entered the country in June 2015 for an African Union summit.

By the time he arrived in the country the South African Litigation Centre (SALC) approached the high court for an order that government enforce an ICC arrest warrant on him.

Molewa,who is currently South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, said the court was in essence forcing South Africa to choose between carrying out its obligations in terms of the Rome Statute and arresting a sitting head of state whilst he was attending a summit as a guest of the African Union.

A decision which she said had "far-reaching and potentially disastrous foreign policy implications.

"Far from being praised for our efforts to promote peace and stability in the region, South Africa would have been regarded as having been a player in the conflict, with consequences for our peace keepers in Sudan, and for the country as a whole," Molewa said.


Zuma reiterates call for radical economic transformation

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- President Jacob Zuma on Saturday reiterated his call for radical socio-economic transformation to correct the wrongs of apartheid.

South Africa has high rates of unemployment (which hovers around 27 percent) because of the structure of the economy and labour market -- another direct effect of apartheid, Zuma said at the launch of the Truman Magubane Family Foundation in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The foundation is aimed at supporting underprivileged children in various fields.

Magubane, 74, is an anti-apartheid hero and spent 15 years imprisoned on Robben Island off Cape Town.

South Africa, Zuma said, continues to suffer the consequences of apartheid policies today even as the government led by the African National Congress (ANC) has expanded access to education for all.

"That is why we speak of radical socio-economic transformation: the fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership and control of the economy," Zuma noted.

Citing several reasons for changing the structure of the economy, Zuma said South Africa’s economy was built around commodities for export to Europe and later the Americas and other regions.

Even roads and rail were constructed so that they led from the mine shafts and the farms straight to the harbours like Durban, according to Zuma.

"Commodity prices are set in the international market.

"In other words the minerals come from our land but we do not determine their price," said Zuma.

The large economies buy minerals from South Africa as raw materials and manufacture goods which they sell back to the country at exorbitant prices, he said.

Capitalism works in such a manner that at times more is produced than what can be sold, resulting in the prices being reduced and commodity-based economies suffer, he explained.

It is in the nature of capitalism to concentrate capital in fewer and fewer enterprises, Zuma said.

Historically all the capital is controlled largely by white men, he added.

"Those who hold capital here and abroad instinctively become suspicious when we talk about changing the structure of the economy because they are making a lot of money from the economy as it is.

"They have to protect their hold on the economy even if it means they have to destroy our spirits and take our lives," Zuma said.

South Africa must re-industrialize so that more jobs can be created, he said.

"We also want to beneficiate our minerals and agricultural products so that we add more value and do not depend on import of finished goods from other countries," the president said.

South African ruling party calls for regulation of political funding

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Sunday called for the regulation of private financing of political parties amid growing reliance by these parties on private donations.

In a submission to Parliament on matters relating to the review and strengthening of political funding, the ANC said political financing must be transparent in a way that will promote and support democracy.

This came after the current over-reliance by political parties on private donations as well as the secrecy that clouds political party financing has fueled perceptions that anonymous donations from masked sources subvert democratic processes, lead to a manipulation of public policy positions in favor of those private interests and dilute the voice of citizens.

"Transparency therefore is necessary to increase public confidence in the democratic system and to allow parties to remain financially sustainable in an ethical, lawful and predictable manner," ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize said.

Party finances, Mkhize said, must be open to public scrutiny and discussions engaged on the desirability of donations from, amongst other categories, foreign interests or from companies that conduct substantial business with the state.

The ANC appreciates the current fiscal constraints and thus the need to revise current allocations to political party funding without sacrificing other important public priorities, said Mkhize.

The ANC therefore calls on Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee to consider these proposed reforms to strengthen democracy, combat corruption and build transparency and accountability in the funding of political parties in line with the party’s stated commitments to prudent financial management.

The multiparty special parliamentary committee, set up earlier this month, is responsible for enquiring into and making recommendations on funding of political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures.

At its first meeting on Friday, the committee unanimously decided that the public will be invited to submit views on the proposed model to adequately fund political parties, regulate private funding and to ensure transparency and accountability.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, political parties in the country have been united in refusing to open their books.

Currently political parties are not required to declare sources of their funds or how they use their money.


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