South African opposition Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen has filed an application to the Pretoria High Court on Monday seeking an urgent order to the government to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if the International Criminal Court (ICC) requests South Africa to arrest him if he sets foot in the country.

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.

But the South African authorities are standing their ground.

The South African government has granted diplomatic immunity to Russian President Putin and other dignitaries scheduled to attend the Brics summit, setting the stage for heightened tension with Western powers who accuse him of warmongering.