SA Deputy President struggles to explain govt’s stance on Grace Mugabe

CAPE TOWN – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has been put on the spot in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon over government’s decision to grant Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

Ramaphosa was answering questions from Members of Parliament (MPs) about gender violence in the National Assembly when he was asked about the Mugabe debacle.

The first lady was allowed to leave the country while she was being investigated for the alleged assault of a South African woman in Johannesburg this month.

Inkatha Freedom Party MP Liezl van der Merwe asked Ramaphosa whether he supported the International Relations Minister’s decision to grant Mugabe immunity.

“I would like to know from you Honourable Deputy President, what type of government would stand on the side of an alleged abuser?”

Ramaphosa struggled to defend government’s position.

“It’s the first time we have utilised this type of convention and a lot can be said on pro and against it. And in the end, there needs to be the clarity that there is on this matter is not full and complete.”

The 20-year-old Gabriella Engels claimed Mugabe attacked her with an electrical extension cord in an incident that took place at a Sandton hotel.

Mugabe allegedly stormed the hotel room her sons had been staying in and attacked Engels who was there that night.

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