The South African government granted diplomatic immunity to all international participants, including Russia President Vladamir Putin and other Russian officials, at BRICS-related events to be held in the country. South Africa, which currently chairs the bloc, is currently hosting the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in Cape Town (1-2 June).
The immunities and privileges in terms of the United Nations Convention grant immunity from personal arrest or detention. A gazetted notice was issued by the South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor for the Diplomatic Immunity and Privileges Act to be granted to all international officials at BRICS-related events in the country.
“Immunity from personal arrest or detention and from seizure of their personal baggage, and, in respect of words spoken or written and all acts done by them in their capacity as representatives, immunity from legal process of every kind,” the document reads.
A warrant for Putin’s arrest was issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague in March, and since South Africa is a member of the formation, it is obliged to arrest Putin when he is in the country. Despite this, South Africa, as the current chair of the BRICS alliance, has officially invited Putin to the 15th BRICS summit at Durban in late August 2023. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is currently attending the BRICS foreign ministers meeting in Cape Town.