Minister spells out reasons for Grace Mugabe's immunity in letter

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File: Grace Mugabe had reportedly left the country by the time a notice indicating that she had been granted immunity was published in the government gazette.

CAPE TOWN - International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has defended her decision to grant diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Grace Mugabe.

Nkoana-Mashabane spells out her reasons in a letter to National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete.

The minister says she took the decision to grant Mugabe immunity after carefully considering all the relevant facts, including South Africa’s relations with Zimbabwe, the SADC region, and international law, which offers immunity to the spouses of heads of state.

READ: Model challenges Grace Mugabe's immunity

Mugabe is accused of attacking 20-year-old model, Gabriella Engels at a hotel in Johannesburg.

Nkoana-Mashabane is expected to appear before Parliament’s next week to respond to MP’s questions over the decision.