Lobby group AfriForum says it will oppose the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco's) decision to grant Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.
She was facing criminal charges last week after she allegedly attacked Gabriella Engels at a hotel in Sandton.
Mugabe is now back in Zimbabwe after she left the country in the early hours of Sunday morning alongside President Robert Mugabe.
The Zimbabwean government requested diplomatic cover for Mugabe last week in a bid to keep her out of court.
AfriForum will help Engels file an application, asking the court to review the decision to grant Mugabe diplomatic immunity.
AfriForum's Willie Spies says diplomatic immunity cannot be granted when a person has committed a crime that results in the injury of someone else.
He also adds that diplomatic immunity cannot be granted after the fact.
Spies argues that International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane disregarded the legal principles which apply in such cases.
He claims that the department was strategic about the timing of their announcement in an bid to protect Mugabe.
Spies says the timing of govt's announcement was a 'well-planned effort to assist #GraceMugabe to escape the consequences of her actions.'— 702 (@Radio702) August 20, 2017
It screams of abuse of power.— Willie Spies, Legal Represenatative at Afriforum
Spies says AfriForum wants to see that there is administrative justice for South African citizens and denies having any political agenda in the case.
Spies: Can intergovernmental relations be so important that a blatant act of violent crime is overlooked? My view is not. #GraceMugabe— 702 (@Radio702) August 20, 2017
Spies says @afriforum does not have an ulterior motive in the matter. He says their main purpose is to serve justice and the Constitution.— 702 (@Radio702) August 20, 2017
If the decision to grant diplomatic immunity is set aside by the court, Spies explains that civil and criminal action can be pursued against the Zimbabwe’s first lady.
He explains that the judicial review will first have to unfold before private prosecution can commence.
Spies also spoke about the protection Engels and her family has been given, as well as alleged hush money offered by an official from the Mugabe family.
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