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Zimbabwe First Lady immune from SA prosecution?

Zimbabwe First Lady immune from SA prosecution?

His Excellency President Robert Mugabe and wife Grace

JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa looks unlikely to prosecute controversial Zimbabwe First Lady, Grace Mugabe, as she enjoys the same immunity her husband Robert Mugabe is entitled to, it has emerged.

Opposition groups are calling for her arrest and prosecution for assault after she allegedly struck and injured a female friend of her sons.

Impeccable sources told CAJ News the short-tempered Mrs Mugabe would not be prosecuted for the alleged offence that hogged headlines in South Africa.

Ironically, the first lady is South African by birth.

She was born in Benoni, east of Johannesburg in 1965 but moved with her family to Zimbabwe in 1970.

“She enjoys similar entitlement to immunity as enjoyed by President Mugabe and thus will not be arraigned,” said a source.

An intelligence officer said the arrest of the influential first lady would have resulted in a diplomatic fallout between the neighbouring countries.

“This (arrest) would have caused diplomatic tiff. It (arrest) will never happen at all! If our police could not arrest Manana for assaulting a woman, what gives them more powers to arrest wife of a sitting president, for that matter, a good neighbour,” a source queried.

“If they could not arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, do you think SA will ever do to their neighbour’s wife? That’s very impossible.”

Another member of the diplomatic community in South Africa confirmed Mugabe’s wife will not face prosecution.

“This case is over,” the official declared.

On Tuesday, the official opposition lashed at Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, and officers for failure to arrest Mugabe, who was in the country reportedly seeking medical attention.

“It was grossly irresponsible for the South African Police Services (SAPS) not to arrest the Zimbabwean first lady who can easily access private air travel, thus posing a flight risk. SAPS should have reasonably known that she was never going to hang around to show up in court,” said Zakhele Mbhele, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Police.

Mbele said the SAPS was in a “shoddy and sorry state.”

“They are made worse by their having to follow the lead of Mbalula, a Police Minister who knows more about making himself trend on Twitter rather than improving police operations and investigations in order to reverse the rising and ongoing trends of serious, organised and violent crimes.”

On Tuesday, police spokesperson, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, and departmental national spokesperson, Vuyo Mhaga, claimed Mrs Mugabe and her legal team were “negotiating” with the local law enforcement agents with intention to hand herself over.

– CAJ News




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