South Africa Grants Putin Diplomatic Immunity for BRICS Summit

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa meeting with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on the side-lines of the first Russia-Africa Summit held in Sochi, Russia, in 2019.

In preparation for the BRICS foreign ministers' meeting and summit, the South African government has granted diplomatic immunity to all officials involved.

The government has gazetted International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor's notice for the Diplomatic Immunity and Privileges Act to be granted to all international officials at BRICS-related events in South Africa.

Clayson Monyela, the spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, said Pandor's notice was "routine", and such notices were issued every time there was a similar international meeting in South Africa.

The notice, signed on 19 May and gazetted on Monday, states that Vladimir Putin and his international counterparts will be granted immunities and privileges provided in terms of Section 6(1)(a) of the act.

The act states that this immunity is granted to officials and experts of the United Nations, any specialised agency or organisation, and representatives of any state participating in an international conference or meeting convened in South Africa.

Section 6(1)(a) of the act sets out that immunities "are specifically provided for in the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 1946, or the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the specialised agencies, 1947, as the case may be, in respect of the participation in conferences and meetings".

The immunities and privileges in terms of the...

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