Grace Mugabe’s diplomatic immunity decision set aside

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Sello Theletsane

JOHANNESBURG- The South Gauteng High Court has withdrawn the decision to grant former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

The decision by former International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity was set aside by Judge Bashier Vally who delivered the ruling.

Judge Vally said the decision was inconsistent with the constitution and therefore, must be set aside.

Former Zimbabwean first lady was accused of assaulting model Gabriella Engels at a Johannesburg hotel where Mugabe’s two sons were staying on August 13 last year.

Engels, who claimed to have been attacked with an electrical cord, sustained deep cuts to her forehead and the back of her head and filed a case of assault with the police the following day.

Mugabe admitted to the assault but claimed she was only acting in self-defence.

She was allowed to leave the country without being prosecuted.

Afriforum and the DA challenged the decision. In May, the International Relations Department argued in court that it did not grant Mugabe diplomatic immunity, but rather recognised it in terms of international law.

The International Relations ministry was also ordered to pay the costs of the case.