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Madonsela: Robert Mugabe should have apologised on Grace’s behalf

Grace Mugabe is now back in Zimbabwe after she left the country in the early hours of Sunday morning alongside her husband amid assault allegations.

FILE: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace stand by the monument of the Unknown Soldier during Heroes Day commemorations in Harare on August 10, 2015. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe should have apologised on his wife's behalf after she allegations that she assaulted a South African woman.

There’s been public outcry following the government's decision to grant Mugabe immunity after the incident at the Capital Hotel in Sandton last weekend, which left 20-year-old Gabriella Engels injured.

Grace Mugabe is now back in Zimbabwe after she left the country in the early hours of Sunday morning alongside her husband.

Last week, the Zimbabwean government invoked diplomatic immunity and was awaiting a response from Dirco.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has since granted diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe’s first lady.

Dirco says it is at Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s discretion to grant Mugabe immunity, citing the need to maintain good inter-governmental relations with the SADC region and the derivative immunity of spouses of heads of state.

Meanwhile, lobby group AfriForum says it will be applying for a review to set aside the decision to grant Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

The group's Willie Spies says there's a good chance of the review being successful.

“The application will be to review the decision and to set aside the proclamation giving Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.”