Grace Mugabe's diplomatic immunity over assault ditched by court

Grace Mugabe, wife of former President Robert Mugabe.
Grace Mugabe, wife of former President Robert Mugabe.
Image: REUTERS

The Johannesburg High Court has found that a decision to grant former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity is “inconsistent with the constitution“.

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

Vally said the decision is inconsistent with provisions in the constitution.

The ministry has also been ordered to pay costs of the DA’s application.

The wife of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe was accused of assaulting South African model Gabriella Engels at a Johannesburg hotel where Mugabe’s youngest two sons were staying on August 13 last year.

Engels sustained deep cuts to her forehead and the back of her head and registered a case with the police the next day.

But the state granted Grace immunity‚ saying it was imperative to maintain good intergovernmental relations within the SADC region‚ and in particular‚ between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

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

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