The International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands. Reuters/Jerry Lampen

After South Africa's High Court blocked the country's move to pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the government on Tuesday (7 March) formally revoked its withdrawal from the Hague-based war crimes tribunal.

According to a Reuters report, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was notified by the South African government that due to the High Court's decision "the Instrument of Withdrawal was found to be unconstitutional and invalid".

A document, dated 7 March, posted on the UN treaties website reads that the planned withdrawal would be revoked with immediate effect and will adhere to the court's judgement. According to the judgement, the parliament needed to approve the pullout from the International tribunal.

South Africa had notified the UN in October about its decision to withdraw from the ICC. The process of withdrawal lasts one year and would have taken place in October this year.

However, the country's Justice Minister, Michael Masutha, in February had said that the court's judgement meant that there would be a delay but it would not stop the country's bid to leave the court.

In 2015, the South African government was criticised by the international tribunal for not arresting Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, wanted by the court for alleged war crimes and genocide in the Darfur conflict. Bashir has denied any wrong doing.

Interestingly, two other African countries – Gambia and Burundi had said that they would also quit the ICC but Gambia's new President Adama Barrow in December said that it would remain in the ICC.