AfriForum on Wednesday filed a review application at the Pretoria High Court asking the court to set aside a decision by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to grant diplomatic immunity to the Zimbabwean president’s wife‚ Grace Mugabe.
Gabriella Engels‚ who was allegedly assaulted by the Zimbabwean first lady in a hotel room in Johannesburg‚ and whom AfriForum is assisting in the matter‚ argued in a statement to the court that the minister misinterpreted Section 7(2) of the Diplomatic Immunity and Privileges Act and she did not have the power to grant immunity to Grace Mugabe.
The minister also failed to take into account that the alleged crime committed by Mugabe constitutes a serious crime as set out in the law‚ Engels said in her statement.
Engels also states in her affidavit that the Foreign States Immunities Act (1981) explicitly excludes the granting of immunity to heads of state who are guilty of the death or injury of people in South Africa.
If heads of state themselves do not receive immunity in such a case‚ there is no way that their spouses or families can qualify for it‚ the statement argues.
According to AfriForum‚ the court application should be heard in the Pretoria High Court within the next four to five months.
Source: TMG Digital.