Granting Grace Mugabe immunity was painful - Nkoana-Mashabane

Pretoria – Granting Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity was painful, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Wednesday.

"I am here. My name is Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. [I am] a very responsible mother, you can ask my children. Others know I am very supportive. It’s been a very painful exercise. It still is. Having said that, we are following the law," she told reporters in Pretoria.

She said she had written to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and the chair of Parliament’s international relations portfolio committee, Siphosezwe Masango, to report on the matter. 

Read: Just how powerful is Grace Mugabe?

"We have written to Parliament and we will follow up on this matter."

Mugabe was allowed to leave the country with her husband Robert on Sunday, despite being accused of assaulting model Gabriella Engels, 20, in a Sandton hotel the previous weekend. Engels was visiting Mugabe's two sons at the time.

On Sierra Leone

Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa would not send a humanitarian response team to Sierra Leone, where a mudslide killed hundreds of people on the outskirts of the capital Freetown on August 14. Hundreds are still missing. 

"Instead, we are announcing an initial contribution of R8m through the United Nations World Food Programme."

She called on South Africans to contribute to the relief effort by making donations to the South African Red Cross.  

Nkoana-Mashabane said the disaster in Sierra Leone was just another demonstration of the urgent need to address climate change. Climate change was no longer about "which God we believe in. It’s real".

She said Africans were appealing to all leaders to make resources available to ensure countries could adapt to climate change.

"We are not making these pleas in vain or in ignorance. We know that it is no longer a story of Noah and the ark. It’s real and it’s happening now."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Should the red carpet portion of SONA be scrapped this year?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's inappropriate given the state of the country
93% - 4615 votes
No, it's part of the tradition
7% - 344 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.66
+0.6%
Rand - Pound
21.47
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
19.01
+0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.33
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.14
+0.1%
Platinum
972.63
-0.9%
Palladium
1,651.85
-0.5%
Gold
1,883.07
+0.4%
Silver
22.47
+0.7%
Brent Crude
85.09
+1.7%
Top 40
74,328
+0.5%
All Share
80,283
+0.4%
Resource 10
74,649
-0.1%
Industrial 25
104,633
+0.8%
Financial 15
16,414
+0.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE