Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has accused the West of hypocrisy regarding the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) warrant for the arrest of President Vladimir Putin on war crime charges.
In an exclusive interview with BBC HardTalk’s Stephen Sackur, Malema argued that the ICC should also issue warrants of arrest for President George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and Barack Obama, due to their alleged war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya.
Malema told HardTalk that the warrant against Putin is invalid because the ICC has failed to prosecute Western leaders who have committed war crimes against humanity.
“We should begin with George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and Barack Obama; only then can the ICC pursue Putin. Tony Blair admitted they were wrong about Saddam Hussein and offered an apology for their invasion of Iraq. Yet, millions were killed but the ICC never issued a warrant of arrest for him”.
Malema argued that Putin is engaged in a battle against imperialism and “the imperialist domination of the world,” particularly the expansion of NATO, an organization he sees as spearheading U.S.-led imperialism.
EFF leader says he would supply Russia with weapons if he were president
He defended South Africa’s ongoing alliance with Russia and even pledged to provide Russia with weapons to resist imperialist domination, as orchestrated by the United States.
“South Africa is aligned with Russia, India, Brazil, and China. In the context of this conflict, South Africa stands as an ally of Russia. South Africa claims to remain non-aligned in the war, but I would take it a step further. I would align with Russia and provide them with weapons. Russia is fighting against imperialism. Any agenda that opposes imperialism aligns with the EFF’s policies.”
Malema’s comments have been met with mixed reactions. Some have praised him for speaking out against Western hypocrisy, while others have criticized him for supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It remains to be seen how South Africa’s government will respond to Malema’s comments. The country has so far condemned the invasion of Ukraine and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. However, it is also a member of the BRICS group of emerging economies, which includes Russia. This could put South Africa in a difficult position as it tries to balance its international obligations with its domestic political interests.
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