THE International Relations department says it will study the judgement of the South Gauteng High Court before deciding on the next course of action.
The court has ruled that the 2017 decision by then International Relations minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabe to grant diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe’s former First Lady, Grace Mugabe, was unconstitutional.
Mugabe was accused of assaulting model Gabrielle Engels and two others at a Sandton Johannesburg hotel in August last year.
The judgement by Bashier Vally is most likely to bring diplomatic ties between Pretoria and Harare under spotlight.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) and lobby group AfriForum brought the case before the court. DA’s federal executive chairperson, James Selfe says they welcome the judgement.
“What will happen now is that the way will be cleared for prosecution to be brought against Dr Mugabe, and we hope that the NPA will do the right thing in this respect; because a very serious crime was committed. And what is required now is for the prosecution to start and if needs be for Dr Mugabe to be extradited from Zimbabwe,” says Selfe.
AfriForum’s Kali Kriel says they will fight for Gabriele Engels to get justice.
“We will monitor the fact that police will now have to take this matter further, then the NPA will need to prosecute. But, in the end if the NPA decide not to prosecute because of Mrs Mugabe’s surname and political ties then we are ready to go for a private prosecution of behalf of Ms Engels,” says Kriel.
Department spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya says they are still studying the full judgement.