Grace Mugabe immunity unconstitutional - South Africa court

Grace Mugabe immunity unconstitutional - South Africa court

Grace Mugabe immunity unconstitutional - South Africa court

The high court in Johannesburg has set aside the decision by the department of global relations to grant former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

Reading the order‚ Judge Bashier Vally set aside former global relations and cooperation minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane's decision to grant Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

Mugabe was involved in a physical altercation with South African model Gabriella Engels previous year, when Mugabe had found her in a Sandton hotel with her two sons.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and AfriForum had argued that Mugabe was not entitled to automatic diplomatic immunity because she was the spouse of a head of state.

Mugabe denied assaulting Engels with an electric cable, saying an "intoxicated and unhinged" Engels had attacked her with a knife.

Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Lindiwe Sisulu said she had noted the judgment, adding that the department would study it and comment later, if necessary.

Former Zimbabwe president Mr Robert Mugabe and his family brought business to a standstill when they turned up to vote at Mhofu School in Highfield.

Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, accompanied by his wife Grace, arrives to vote in the general elections in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 30, 2018.

"We now hope the National Prosecuting Authority will institute action against Mrs. Mugabe, which in time will mean she will be extradited to face trial", he said. "From the start, we said that diplomatic immunity granted to Mrs Mugabe was unlawful", Kriel said.

The DA and AfriForum approached the courts to set the decision aside soon after.

NPA spokeswoman Phindi Mjnonondwana said police were still responsible for the case.

"AfriForum believes that the NPA should act in this regard, but if not advocate Gerrie Nel and AfriForum's private prosecution unit are ready to privately prosecute Mugabe", Spies said.

"The South African government chose to put the politics of expediency above the rule of law", DA chairman James Selfe said.

"This incident is yet another example of how the ANC-led government is happy to abuse its statutory powers at the expense of justice for ordinary South Africans", he said.

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