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JUST IN: SA court overturns immunity for Grace Mugabe in assault case

JUST IN: SA court overturns immunity for Grace Mugabe in assault case

South Africa's High Court on Monday overturned a decision by the government to grant Zimbabwe's former first lady Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity after she was accused of whipping a woman with an electric cord.

In 2017, Grace Mugabe injured a young girl during confrontation inside a local hotel.

Mugabe then counter-claimed that she had acted in self-defence.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said the ruling was a "great day for justice", and an arrest warrant should be issued for Mrs Mugabe. The court ruled that the decision had been inconsistent with provisions in the constitution.

Bateman says he thinks the department of global relations would probably take the matter on appeal to the High Court of Appeal before we could see Grace Mugabe brought back to South Africa to answer on these charges.

However, she was granted diplomatic immunity by South Africa's former Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, allowing her to leave the country.

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Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, accompanied by his wife Grace, arrives to vote in the general elections in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 30, 2018.

In papers filed in the High Court, Ms Engels said Ms Nkoana-Mashabane had "misconstrued her powers".

Kriel said AfriForum would continue monitoring the case and, if the national prosecuting authority decided not to prosecute, the lobby group's private prosecuting unit would be ready to prosecute.

"In just the same way the South African government did in the [Omar] al-Bashir matter, the South African government chose to put the politics of expediency above the rule of law", Selfe said.

On that basis, Vally declared Nkoana-Mashabane's decision to be inconsistent with the Constitution and ordered that it be reviewed and set aside.

She also argued that not awarding Mrs Mugabe diplomatic immunity might have serious implications for relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe.