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Why politics can take Grace off the hook



However, he noted that several statements "of possible witnesses were still pending" and said that the head of the NPA in Johannesburg had not made a decision on "whether to prosecute Mugabe since no statement had been received from him." Dr. Mugabe "

It was while the police were in the early stages of the Engels badault investigation that the Minister of International Relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, accepted requests for Grace to be granted diplomatic immunity.

This process may be impossible. I do not see the likelihood of a successful arrest warrant, "said international criminal law expert Allan Ngari.

Interim judge of the Pretoria Superior Court Bashir Vally found on Monday that this decision was based on an" error of law ". , based on the minister's incorrect belief that the spouses of seated heads of state were automatically entitled to diplomatic immunity.

Vally recorded how, after Engels brought charges of aggression against Grace, the police tried to contact her The lawyer and convince her to surrender more and make a statement to the authorities on her side of the story.These efforts were unsuccessful, and Grace fled South Africa days after her alleged attack.

Less than a week after the In the alleged attack, Nkoana-Mashabane "granted" diplomatic immunity to Grace, although she acknowledged the importance of the "rule of law," the minister said she should also Consider the diplomatic implications related to the potential accusation.

"In fact, such an action could have serious implications for relations between South Africa and the African states," Nkoana-Mashabane's office said in a letter to the Embbady of Zimbabwe.

In the end, however, he illegally justified his decision to grant Grace immunity based on her status as first lady of Zimbabwe, a state that no longer exists.

Following Monday's decision, Willie Spies of AfriForum said the lobby is determined to see Grace prosecuted and even request his extradition, through a private prosecution process, if the state decides not to do so.

In response, MJonondwane of the NPA urged AfriForum to "keep their horses."

"As I said before, we are still waiting for the investigation file, AfriForum should allow us to consider the evidence and make a decision first."

An expert in international criminal law at the Institute for Security Studies, Allan Ngari, said it would not be easy to get Grace to appear before a South African court.

The Commission for Gender Equality said on Thursday that the granting of diplomatic immunity to Grace by South Africa after its alleged badault on a young woman in Johannesburg violated the laws of the country.

First, an arrest warrant must be issued.

"Ideally, the National Prosecutor's Office should obtain the arrest warrant, but civil society may seek the same.

" As for the implementation of the order, this is where it will become very difficult due to the diplomatic relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe. The two governments will have to deal with that, "said Ngari.

" She is not a state official, so she should not receive state protection in Zimbabwe. But then, there is the political connection. And we have to understand the changes that are currently taking place in Zimbabwe, diplomatically.

"This process may be impossible, I do not see the likelihood of an arrest warrant being too successful," Ngari said.

Grace was accused of badaulting Engels at a hotel in Johannesburg, where Mugabe's two sons were staying, in August 2017.

Engels sustained deep cuts on his forehead and the back of his head Engels recorded a Case with the police the next day. But the state granted Grace immunity, saying that it was imperative to maintain good intergovernmental relations within the region, particularly between South Africa and Zimbabwe. – Times Live


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