Grace Mugabe - no more diplomatic immunity

Grace Mugabe - no more diplomatic immunity

Judge Bashir VallyJudge Bashier Vally of the Johannesburg High Court has set aside the decision to grant former Zimbabwe first lady Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

The Democratic Alliance had applied to the court to have the diplomatic immunity of the former Zimbabwe first lady revoked after she was accused of assaulting a South African model, Gabriella Engels, in 2017 at a luxury hotel in Johannesburg.

The Judge has ruled that the decision to grant Mugabe immunity is inconsistent with provisions in the Constitution.

Engels posted pictures of herself with numerous facial injuries on social media.

Judge Hilton EpsteinWhen the case was heard in the High Court in Pretoria during May 2018, Advocate Hilton Epstein SC argued that the "South African government did not grant diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe's former first lady, but only recognised it after the assault charge."

Epstein contended that then International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane did the right thing by "recognising" Mrs Mugabe's diplomatic immunity.

Many considered this to be a bltant "after the fact" coverup!

Earlier in 2018 Gabriella Engels (who had been receiving legal assistance from AfriForum) said she hoped Grace Mugabe, Zimbabwe's former first lady, would be brought back to South Africa to face the charges.

“I hope she does come back to account. I leave everything now in God's hands and I know that he will get us through everything.”