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:


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