South Africa’s Democratic Alliance approaches Constitutional Court to set aside Grace Mugabe’s diplomatic immunity

South Africa’s main opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA) has filed an application at the Constitutional Court challenging the decision by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity. This comes after Grace Mugabe allegedly assaulted South African model Gabriella Engels. The DA has said the decision by South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was was hasty, embarrassing and above all illegal and unconstitutional.

The DA said:

It is clear that Grace Mugabe was granted immunity simply to shield her from being tried in a court of law for her assault on Gabriella Engels and two others on 13 August 2017. Condoning such behaviour, as the granting of immunity did, cannot possibly be in the interests of South Africa. There is therefore no legal basis for such a decision.

Grace Mugabe is not a member of the Zimbabwean government and she was in South Africa on personal business. There is nothing in either South African or international law which renders her deserving of diplomatic immunity.

 

South African civil rights group AfriForum has already filed court papers at the Pretoria High Court challenging the decision to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

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