DA files papers to set aside Grace Mugabe’s diplomatic immunity

Issued by James Selfe MP – DA Federal Council Chairperson
25 Aug 2017 in News

The DA has filed papers in the Constitutional Court requesting direct access to argue that the decision of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, to grant diplomatic immunity to Grace Mugabe, should be set aside as wholly without legal merit and should thus be declared unconstitutional and invalid.

The DA believes that the decision by the Minister, in granting immunity, was hasty, embarrassing and above all illegal and unconstitutional. It is frankly unconscionable that after the scathing ruling by the Constitutional Court in the Al Bashir matter that the ANC-led government would once again let a high profile person escape justice in South Africa.

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.

This incident is yet another example of how the ANC-led government is intent on protecting the elite of Africa by abusing its statutory powers at the expense of justice for ordinary South Africans.