OPINION

Arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe must be reissued – James Selfe

DA FCC says the former Zimbabwean first lady must now have her day in court

DA welcomes judgement setting aside Grace Mugabe’s immunity

30 July 2018

The DA welcomes the judgement handed down today in the Johannesburg High Court confirming that the ANC Government’s decision to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity was illegal and unconstitutional.

This is a great day for justice, the rule of law and shows that nobody is above in the law. In just the same way the South African government did in the Al Bashir matter, the South African government chose to put the politics of expediency above the rule of law.

That is why the DA filed papers requesting that the court set aside the decision to put its relationship with another country above protecting its own citizens, when allowing Ms Mugabe to flee the country after a warrant for her arrest was issued to ensure she answered for the assault of Ms Gabriella Engels, on 13 August last year.

This incident is yet another example of how the ANC-led government is happy to abuse its statutory powers at the expense of justice for ordinary South Africans.

Following this judgement, an arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe must be reissued for the assault of Ms Engels and we expect the South African government to work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that Ms Mugabe returns to South Africa and has her day in court to answer for her actions.

The DA held that Ms Mugabe was granted immunity simply to shield her from being tried in a court of law. Ms Mugabe was not a member of the Zimbabwean government and she was in South Africa on personal business.

There is nothing in either South African or international law which renders her deserving of diplomatic immunity. Therefore, the decision had no basis in law and could not be in the interests of South Africans.

The judgement is, therefore, a victory for the people of South Africa and confirmation that the DA will not hesitate to ensure that the rule of law is respected.

Issued by James SelfeDA Federal Council Chairperson, 30 July 2018