'South Africans can’t be sacrificial lambs for govt'

Cosatu has described government’s decision to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity as disgraceful, a camouflaged surrender and a mockery of the country’s rule of law.

FILE: Debbie Engels (left) and her daughter Gabriella Engels, who claims that she was assaulted by Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe. Picture: Hitekani Magwedze/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Cosatu has described government’s decision to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity as disgraceful, a camouflaged surrender and a mockery of the country’s rule of law.

Gabriella Engels opened a case of assault against Mugabe last week.

She claims that the first lady attacked her with an extension cord when she found her at a Sandton hotel with the Mugabe sons.

Cosatu is not buying the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s (Dirco) reasons for granting Mugabe immunity.

Dirco says it wants to maintain healthy relations with neighbouring countries, among other reasons.

The union’s Sizwe Pamla says: "South African citizens can’t be sacrificial lambs for government."

Cosatu says government can’t allow "political anarchy of the Mugabe administration to be imported into our country".

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."

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)