South African president Jacob Zuma appeared in parliament on Thursday where he was questioned by Members of Parliament about the granting of diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe, who allegedly assaulted model Gabriella Engels. She found her in a Sandton hotel socializing with her children, Robert Junior and Chatunga. Police asked her to report to the nearest police station to answer charges of assault but a few days later Mrs. Mugabe was granted diplomatic immunity by the ruling African National Congress government. Here is what transpired in parliament on Thursday. Report by Gibbs Dube and audio provided by Benedict Nhlapho.
MP van De Merwe: I would like to know whether you concede that the government by granting diplomatic immunity to Mrs. Grace Mugabe has completely made a mockery of the rule of law and also made a mockery of all our efforts to fight the violence and abuse.
Jacob Zuma: We have done everything to create structures, the laws that you are talking about so that people who commit such crimes are reported and the law will take its course.
Mmusi Maimane: What grounds did Grace Mugabe get diplomatic immunity for? On what basis? It’s as simple as that.
Jacob Zuma: I’m not a lawyer. I don’t know what happened and how the matter at the end came to a point that it came to a point where it came. (Interjections, Zuma laughs) … So, all what I’m saying the right … the actions were taken and the police were there. They dealt with the matter and then the issue of ehhhh … diplomatic conditions came about and actions were taken. All I’m saying I can’t answer that detail not being aware what really happened.
Unidentified MP: Why don’t you admit that you are afraid of Robert Mugabe?
Jacob Zuma: I can’t lie. Why do you say the truth has run away … because I am telling the truth … What’s your problem?