Sun. May 19th, 2024

In a bid to halt Israel’s actions in Gaza, the South African government disbursed nearly R2 million for travel and accommodation expenses of officials attending the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In response to a parliamentary inquiry from Freedom Front Plus MP Dr. Corne Mulder, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola disclosed that the Department of Justice and Correctional Services allocated R1,955,498.42 for travel and accommodation costs.

Lamola clarified that three government departments – the Presidency, International Relations and Cooperation, and Justice and Constitutional Development – were represented in the ICJ case on January 11 and 12, 2024.

Regarding costs under his purview, Lamola stated that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DJCD) provided one senior and two junior counsel pro bono, with no third-party sponsorships. Three legal practitioners were briefed by the DJCD.

Lamola himself attended the ICJ proceedings alongside three officials.

Travel Expenses Breakdown:

  • Legal team: R277,083
  • Minister: R443,442
  • State Officials: R1,025,359 (including a VIP Protector employed by SAPS)
    Accommodation Costs Breakdown:
  • Legal team: R73,420
  • Minister: R43,999
  • State Officials: R58,115 (including a VIP Protector employed by SAPS)

Lamola expressed pride in South Africa’s initiative at the ICJ, stating that the country couldn’t remain passive amid the loss of innocent lives in Gaza. He emphasized that South Africa’s efforts drew global attention to the situation and garnered support from other nations.

The ICJ ruling, by 15 votes to two, mandated Israel to take preventive measures against acts falling under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The court’s subsequent order on January 26 affirmed Israel’s obligation to implement provisional measures.

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