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AfriForum: Minister misinterpreted law on Grace Mugabe immunity

The Zimbabwean first lady was allowed to leave South Africa last Sunday without having to answer to assault charges against her.

FILE: Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe.  Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - AfriForum has argued in court papers that International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane misinterpreted the law when she granted Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

The Zimbabwean first lady was allowed to leave the country last Sunday without having to answer to assault charges against her.

She allegedly assaulted a woman at a Johannesburg hotel.

Her alleged victim, Gabriella Engels, with the help of AfriForum, has filed court papers in the High Court in Pretori a, challenging government's decision.

Attorney Willie Spies says: “We took the legislation that the minister used as a starting point for our review application. Our conclusion is she misinterpreted the legislation and made a mistake in the way this decision was made.”

Spies adds that they want the decision to grant Mugabe immunity set aside.

“The expectations are that the matter will be argued probably within the next four to five months. If we are successful, it will open up the gate for us to carry on with either private prosecutions or civil action against Grace Mugabe.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)