AfriForum: SA govt part of plot to help Grace Mugabe escape consequences

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.

LISTEN: 20-year-old SA woman traumatised by Grace Mugabe's assault

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.

It screams of abuse of power.

Willie Spies, Legal Represenatative at Afriforum  

Read: Afriforum's Gerrie Nel gives the NPA three months to prosecute Grace Mugabe

Spies says AfriForum wants to see that there is administrative justice for South African citizens and denies having any political agenda in the case.

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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