The South Gauteng High Court has ordered President Cyril Ramaphosa to make public his “confidential” affidavit regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warrant of arrest by uploading it onto the court’s database by 2pm on Tuesday.
Ramaphosa filed a confidential affidavit in response to an application by the DA seeking a declaratory order to compel the state to arrest Putin if he sets foot in South Africa ahead of the BRICS Summit next month.
At the time, the Presidency said the confidentiality of Ramaphosa’s affidavit was in line with the International Criminal Court (ICC).
However, at around midday on Tuesday, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ordered that the answering affidavits, replying affidavits, the letter from the state attorney to the applicants’ attorney and the heads of argument of all parties in the matter be disclosed and uploaded to the court’s digital database by 2pm.
The order further stated that the hearing of the application would take place on Friday, July 21 in open court in the Pretoria High Court. Media would also be granted access to the hearing.
The DA welcomed the judgment on Tuesday.
“It has always been our belief that the public interest in this matter overrode government’s attempts at supposed confidentiality.
“This especially given the enormous implications for all South Africans that hinge on government’s decision on this matter, including South Africa’s standing on the international stage should there be a repeat of the circumstances that surrounded the visit of Omar Al-Bashir where South Africa failed in its statutory obligation to both its own foreign policy and an instruction by the ICC,” said DA leader John Steenhuisen.
He added that they looked forward to the merits of the matter being argued in open court, and said it would resist any further attempts by government and the ANC to shield its decisions from the people of South Africa.
This, Steenhuisen said, included the report into the circumstances surrounding the Lady R.