Related Rule
South Africa
Practice Relating to Rule 74. Chemical Weapons
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “The use of certain weapons is expressly prohibited by international agreement, treaty or custom (e.g. chemical … and toxic weapons).” 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 34(f)(iii).
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states:
i. Prohibited Weapons. The following weapons have been prohibited:
(3) Gases Geneva Protocol outlawing their use in 1925. This ban was later strengthened by the adoption of … the Chemical Weapons Convention (1993), which prohibits the development, production, stockpiling and transfer of such weapons. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 56(f)(i)(3).
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
3. Means and Methods of Warfare
Several specific weapons are governed by specific treaties. These treaties establish two categories of weapons, to wit[:]
- Weapons of which the use is totally prohibited; and
- Weapons of which the use is permitted under certain conditions.
Weapons of which the Use is Totally Prohibited
- Chemical and bacteriological warfare, ie
- Asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases;
- All analogous liquids, material or devices; and
- Bacteriological methods of warfare. (Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and Bacteriological Methods of Warfare dated 17 June 1925.) 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 3, pp. 174–175.
South Africa’s Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act (1993) provides:
The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, determine the general policy to be followed with a view to:
(d) the imposition of a prohibition, whether for offensive or defensive purposes, on the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, maintenance or transit of any weapons of mass destruction. 
South Africa, Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act, 1993, Section 2(1)(d).
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the war crimes listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including in international armed conflicts: “employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices”. 
South Africa, ICC Act, 2002, Schedule 1, Part 3, § (b)(xviii).
At the First Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997, South Africa emphasized the importance of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention and stated its commitment to creating a world free of chemical weapons. It reconfirmed its good intentions by once more emphasizing its commitment to global chemical disarmament. 
South Africa, Statement at the First Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, The Hague, 6–23 May 1997.
According to the Report on the Practice of South Africa, South Africa considers chemical weapons to be among “certain weapons … expressly prohibited by international agreement, treaty or custom”. 
Report on the Practice of South Africa, 1997, Chapter 3.4.
In 2012, in an opening statement at the Twelfth Annual Regional Seminar on the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law in Pretoria, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation stated:
In addition to focusing on the work of National Committees dealing with IHL issues, the other central theme for the Seminar focuses on developments pertaining to weapons treaties. This is a particularly pertinent theme given the destructive and lethal nature of weapons on civilian populations. South Africa continues to advocate for a regulatory framework governing the use of weapons. We view the Convention on Cluster Munitions and Convention on Chemical Weapons as a critical first step towards mitigating the human suffering and widespread destructions posed by the use of these weapons. South Africa is working towards the ratification of both instruments and strongly encourages other countries to consider doing the same. 
South Africa, Opening Statement by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation at the Twelfth Annual Regional Seminar on the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law in Pretoria, 14 August 2012.
In 2013, a position paper submitted by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Third Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Third Review Conference) on behalf of the Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that are States Parties to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), including South Africa, and China noted:
2. Preamble and international security
2.2 The NAM CWC States Parties and China reiterate their long-standing principled position for the achievement of general and complete disarmament, under strict and effective international control, including the prohibition of all weapons of mass destruction.
3. Destruction of chemical weapons and destruction or conversion of chemical weapons production facilities
3.1 The NAM CWC States Parties and China call for the destruction of all categories of chemical weapons by the possessor States Parties and reiterate the importance of the total elimination of all types of weapons of mass destruction, in line with the first preambular paragraph of the Convention.
3.5 The NAM CWC States Parties and China reiterate that the obligation and responsibility regarding the destruction of chemical weapons lie solely with the possessor States Parties, and that fulfilment of this obligation is essential to the achievement of the object and purpose of the Convention. 
South Africa, Position paper submitted by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Third Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Third Review Conference) on behalf of the Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement that are States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, including South Africa, and China, 8 April 2013, §§ 2.2, 3.1 and 3.5.
In 2013, in a statement at the Third Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Third Review Conference) on behalf of the Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that are States Parties to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), including South Africa, and China, the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated:
The existence of weapons of mass destruction continues to pose a threat to international peace and security. The NAM CWC States Parties and China therefore call for the general and complete disarmament under [a] strict and effective verification regime, including the prohibition and elimination of all weapons of mass destruction in line with the first preambular paragraph of the Convention.
The NAM CWC States Parties and China call for the total destruction of all categories of chemical weapons by the possessor States Parties …
It is important that the Third Review Conference call upon the major possessor States to take every necessary measure to ensure the completion of destruction of their chemical weapons stockpiles in the shortest time possible.
We further call upon all the other States Parties that possess old chemical weapons to also complete their destruction of these chemical weapons in the shortest time possible.
… [T]he NAM CWC States Parties and China are fully committed to their obligations under the Convention. We look forward to the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction in the shortest time possible. 
South Africa, Statement by the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the Third Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Third Review Conference) on behalf of the Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement that are States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, including South Africa, and China, 8 April 2013, pp. 2, 3 and 6.
The representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran further stated:
The NAM CWC States Parties and China express their deep concern that chemical weapons may have been used in the Syrian Arab Republic. We underline that the use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances would be reprehensible and completely contrary to the legal norms and standards of the international community. 
South Africa, Statement by the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the Third Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Third Review Conference) on behalf of the Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement that are States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, including South Africa, and China, 8 April 2013, p. 4.
In 2013, in a statement at the Third Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Third Review Conference) on behalf of the African Group of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), including South Africa, the representative of the Republic of the Sudan stated: “[T]he African Group of States Parties to the CWC are fully committed to their obligations under the Convention, and are looking forward to the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction in the shortest time possible”. 
South Africa, Statement by the representative of the Republic of the Sudan at the Third Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Third Review Conference) on behalf of the African Group of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, including South Africa, 8 April 2013, p. 5.
In 2013, South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation issued a press release entitled “South African Response to the Use of Chemical Weapons in Damascus”, which stated:
South Africa is alarmed at the latest escalation in the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic and condemns the use of chemical weapons. South Africa extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of the people who lost their lives in the chemical weapons attack. The use of these weapons in Syria is of serious concern and is wholly unacceptable by any standard.
No cause could ever justify the use of weapons of mass destruction. South Africa believes that the United Nations weapons inspectors should be allowed the time to complete their investigation and announce findings on the use of chemical weapons[.] 
South Africa, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, “South African Response to the Use of Chemical Weapons in Damascus”, Press Release, 29 August 2013.