“The judgment signifies that gender based violence requires serious and concerted response by the State,” spokesperson Javu Baloyi said on Monday.
Last August, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) granted the former first lady diplomatic immunity in relation to the alleged case of assault. This week the South Gauteng High Court ruled that the decision was inconsistent with the Constitution.
The Gender Commission, represented by the Legal Resources Centre, successfully joined the litigation as amicus curiae (friend to the court).
Through its representations, the commission submitted that providing Mugabe diplomatic immunity after the alleged assault of a 20-year-old South African model directly violated the constitutional directive to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of women, including violating South Africa’s international obligations to safeguard women.
Legal Representative of AfriForum and Engels, Willie Spies, says he welcomes the judgement. “This decision paves the way for the institution of criminal prosecution steps against Ms. Mugabe after she last year assaulted and seriously injured Engels, a Johannesburg model, with an extension cord,” says.
Earlier AfriForum also said their private prosecutor, Gerrie Nel (known as “The Bulldog”) would be keen to sink his teeth into Mugabe of the state decides not to prosecute her.
Meanwhile, government has called on all men to Sign the #100MenMarch Pledge and boldly declare that violence against women and children will not be tolerated in their respective environment or communities.