South Africa Overturns Diplomatic Immunity For Grace Mugabe

31 July, 2018, 12:56 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Robert and Grace Mugabe

The ball is now in the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) court on whether former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe would face criminal charges if she were to set foot in SA again - but neither they, nor the department of International Relations (Dirco) could be drawn to comment yesterday.

Judge Bashier Vally ruled that the decision to grant diplomatic immunity was inconsistent with the constitution.

According to Engels, an irate Grace Mugabe burst into the room where she was waiting with two friends in a Johannesburg luxury hotel suite to meet one of Mugabe's sons last August and started attacking her with an electric cable.

Grace Mugabe returned to Zimbabwe immediately after South Africa granted her diplomatic immunity, allowing her to evade prosecution for assault and causing a row in South Africa where the opposition Democratic Alliance also challenged the ruling.

Ms Engels needed 14 stitches to her head after allegedly being set upon by Mrs Mugabe who was wielding an electrical extension...

Even though Mugabe is not a state official‚ she "should not receive protection from the state in Zimbabwe"‚ he said.

Acting Judge Bashier Vally said the error was "fundamental and fatal" and that the decision by the former minister of worldwide relations and cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane must be reviewed and set aside.

In his judgment, Vally said the minister was flawed in her understanding of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 in that she "did not merely "recognise" the immunity of Dr Mugabe, she conferred immunity on Dr Mugabe".

He said there were worldwide treaties that can be relied upon to ensure that Mugabe returns to South Africa to face charges. She, however, has to exercise this power in a manner that is constitutional and lawful. We are confident that there will be ways to get her (back) into the country.

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

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

However, NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku said South Africa and Zimbabwe had previously cooperated on extraditing suspects from one country to the other.



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