Ruling in Grace Mugabe immunity matter welcomed

The DA’s James Selfe says the ruling is a victory for the rule of law and victims of violence against women.

FILE: Former Zimbabwes first lady Grace Mugabe. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - AfriForum and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have welcomed a High Court ruling setting aside the South African government's decision to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

The High Court in Johannesburg found the decision was inconsistent with the Constitution and irrational.

The court said Mugabe was not entitled to automatic diplomatic immunity as a result of her status as the spouse of a head of state.

Mugabe allegedly assaulted model Gabriella Engels at a hotel in August last year; she claimed she was acting in self-defence.

The DA’s James Selfe says the ruling is a victory for the rule of law and victims of violence against women.

“We said all along that Grace Mugabe was not entitled to diplomatic immunity and the South African government chose to use expediency as a principle.”

AfriForum’s Willie Spies says the road has been cleared for the National Prosecuting Authority to prosecute Mugabe.

“If they don’t do this then we’ve got the option of taking on the matter as a private prosecution.”

The International Relations Department says it notes the judgment and will comment at a later stage after studying it.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)