Grace Mugabe may not have had diplomatic immunity when she entered SA

There is still no indication as to whether Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe will be dragged to court for assaulting twenty-year-old Gabriella Engels on Sunday.

On Thursday, the lobby group, Afriforum said that Engels had been offered money to drop the assault charge against her.

President Robert Mugabe arrived in the country on Wednesday while Harare has said it will invoke diplomatic immunity for Grace Mugabe.

Prof Hennie Strydom, Professor in International Relations at the University of Johannesburg believes if the first lady had diplomatic immunity when she entered South Africa, the department of foreign relations would have known about. He goes on to say that one of department's spokesperson was quite clear that Grace Mugabe didn't enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Read: Grace Mugabe was not on the diplomatic envoy list - law professor

If she was here on official business she must have had it before entering the country because you have to notify the state if you don't possess automatic immunity.

Prof Hennie Strydom, Professor in International Relations at University of Johannesburg

Also read: Afriforum's Gerrie Nel gives the NPA three months to prosecute Grace Mugabe

If you have to be granted immunity on an ad-hoc basis you have to notify the state about it.

Prof Hennie Strydom, Professor in International Relations at University of Johannesburg

Strydom believes it worrisome that Mugabe is unlikely to face any actions. He adds that the victim has a constitutional right to a remedy which the South African government is obliged to honour.

I don't think the issue here is about the law, regulating immunity, it is about a political game adds Strydom.

Take a listen to the full analysis in the clip below:


702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

A caller wanted to know what the alleged victim had done in order for Grace Mugabe to assault her.

Grace Mugabe was not on the diplomatic envoy list - law professor

Grace Mugabe was not on the diplomatic envoy list - law professor

Prof James Grant says she would have had to be listed as a special envoy or representative of another state, and she was not.

Afriforum's Gerrie Nel gives the NPA three months to prosecute Grace Mugabe

Afriforum's Gerrie Nel gives the NPA three months to prosecute Grace Mugabe

AfriForum and its independent prosecution unit will be getting involved in the case of alleged assault of Gabriella Engels.

Police on 'red alert' to prevent Grace Mugabe leaving SA

Police on 'red alert' to prevent Grace Mugabe leaving SA

Mugabe is facing criminal charges after she allegedly assaulted Gabriela engels with an electric cord at a Sandton hotel on Sunday

Grace Mugabe could face jail time - criminal attorney

Grace Mugabe could face jail time - criminal attorney

Criminal attorney, Cliff Alexander believes Mugabe's best option would be to approach the state and complainant for a mediation.

Grace Mugabe used normal passport and can't enjoy diplomatic immunity

Grace Mugabe used normal passport and can't enjoy diplomatic immunity

Shadow Minister of International Relations says Mugabe's case should not be debated any further as she can't enjoy any privileges.

Words you’ll hear: Cold front & Grace Mugabe

Words you’ll hear: Cold front & Grace Mugabe

Water cooler conversations today will be centred around the cold front and Zimbabwe First Lady Grace Mugabe.

Grace Mugabe invokes diplomatic immunity as Zim-SA relations get tense

Grace Mugabe invokes diplomatic immunity as Zim-SA relations get tense

Grace is still in South Africa and her husband, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, is due to land in the country this afternoon.

Bob Mugabe flying in, could sort out his wife's legal woes

Bob Mugabe flying in, could sort out his wife's legal woes

Political analyst David Monyae says this puts everyone including President Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe in an awkward situation.

How do we ensure the safety of women in South Africa?

How do we ensure the safety of women in South Africa?

Women's Legal Centre and POWA discuss ways to ensuring the legal system stops failing women of South Africa.

Popular articles
7 tips on how to keep your child safe in public

7 tips on how to keep your child safe in public

Social worker and Childline manager Faiza Khota shares practical advise on how to help protect children in public spaces.

Soon you may not be able to light up in public (indoors or out!)

Soon you may not be able to light up in public (indoors or out!)

The Dept of Health is looking to introduce draft legislation that includes a complete ban on all smoking in public areas.

'KZN nudist beach would be a draw card for international tourism'

'KZN nudist beach would be a draw card for international tourism'

Chairman of KZN Naturists Association Christo Bothma says having the section of the South Coast beach will boost the economy.

New drug known as 'flakka' hits Durban

New drug known as 'flakka' hits Durban

Sam Pillay, founder and director of Anti-Drug Forum SA says once the drug takes effect, the user appears possessed.

The President's Keepers: PDF version is tantamount to theft - Exclusive Books

The President's Keepers: PDF version is tantamount to theft - Exclusive Books

A PDF version of the book has been doing the rounds since Sars and the State Security Agency threatened legal action.

Falling out of love? Signs and stages of romantic disengagement

Falling out of love? Signs and stages of romantic disengagement

Can you love your partner, but no longer be in love with them? Dr Eve unravels stages of disaffection in romantic relationships.

Celibacy liberated me - Amanda Ndiki

Celibacy liberated me - Amanda Ndiki

Author Amanda Ndiki, celibate for 6 years describes her journey and how celibacy helped mend her sense of self.

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.