5 reasons why South Africa granted Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity

The Department of International Relation's (Dirco) decision to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity is a contested one, but bigger political issues were at stake.

This is according to Simon Allison, Africa Editor at the Mail & Guardian.

Already we saw the little spat between South African Airlines and Zimbabwean airlines on Sunday. That surely was not unrelated to what was happening in the corridors at Dirco.

Simon Allison, Africa Editor at the Mail & Guardian

READ: Why we couldn’t prosecute Grace Mugabe

Allison says that the relationship between South Africa and Zimbabwe is vitally important for both countries.

In South Africa's case, Allison says that we host a huge population of Zimbabwean nationals so we can't separate from the country entirely.

The range of South African businesses in Zimbabwe also could have been affected, he adds.

As growth declines in South Africa, Southern Africa has been identified by many corporations as the way forward. Zimbabwe is a major part of that.

Simon Allison, Africa Editor at the Mail & Guardian

With the Southern African Development Community summit on, Allison says that straining the relationship between Zuma and Mugabe would have hindered the potential to take the whole region forward.

Allison says that the South African government did have options when dealing with Grace Mugabe's alleged assault of Gabriella Engels, but chose to take the path of least resistance.

Listen to the full interview below:

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