ACDP strongly condemns government decision to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity

Statement in the National Assembly
ACDP President, Rev KRJ Meshoe MP

“House Chairperson,

The ACDP strongly condemns the decision by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to grant Zimbabwean First Lady, Grace Mugabe, diplomatic immunity, after she allegedly assaulted 20 year old Gabriella Engels with an extension cord.

According to legal advice which government chose to ignore, Mrs Grace Mugabe did not qualify for diplomatic immunity, and could, therefore, have been charged and arrested for her criminal conduct.

Furthermore, legal experts argue that it is not legally possible to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity retrospectively after she had entered the country.

The ACDP calls, therefore, on SADC and the African Union to urgently revise their policy on conditions for diplomatic immunity to ensure that criminal behaviour committed by anyone in the diplomatic community will not be tolerated. Let African Presidents, their families and diplomats lead by example. They should never be allowed to act like they are above the law.

South Africa should be the first to insist that no dignitary, regardless of their status, is able to get away with criminal behaviour on our shores.

The law must be applied equally to all - whether First Lady or Last Lady!

I thank you.”