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Mugabe immunity an 'abuse of law' – DA counsel

Publish date: 14 May 2018
Issue Number: 773
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Litigation

The decision by SA's former International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to grant former Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe immunity against prosecution was an abuse of law. Nkoana-Mashabane made a decision which was legally and ordinarily supposed to be made by judges in SA courts. A Weekend Argus report says this was the argument of DA’s legal counsel Advocate Anton Katz SC, during the second day of the hearing of the application by the DA and AfriForum to set aside the spousal immunity granted to Mugabe in August last year. Katz said the Minister’s decision ‘was wrong’. ‘The police should have charged Grace Mugabe and hauled her before a court of law. It should have then been the responsibility of the Zimbabwean Embassy to approach the court and to invoke Grace’s spousal immunity. ‘It would then be up to the judges to make a decision if Grace had indeed such an immunity. If the judges find that Grace had qualified for immunity, the court would then approach the Minister (of Foreign Affairs) to confer the immunity,’ Katz said. Judge Bashier Vally reserved judgment.

Full Weekend Argus report (subscription needed)