South Africa Women’s Affairs Minister roasted for not protecting Gabriella Engels after she was allegedly assaulted by Grace Mugabe


South Africa’s Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu had a tough time trying to defend the government’s granting of diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe First Lady Grace Mugabe after she allegedly assaulted 20-yar-olf Gabriella Engels.

Several Members of the National Council of the Provinces asked the minister what she had done to explain what the diplomatic immunity that was granted to Grace Mugabe meant for Engels.

The debate which was marred by interjections almost degenerated into name-calling as some members felt male members of the Democratic Alliance were abusing the minister just because she was a woman because they would not have treated amale minister the same way.

Here is a transcript of what happened as supplied to The Insider.

Ms D B NGWENYA: Thank you, Chair. Thank you, hon Minister. I just want to find out that when that was done, are there any steps that were taken to talk to this woman, Gabriella Engels who was mercilessly assaulted by the Grace Mugabe and explain to her what the diplomatic immunity granted to her attacker means, and what sort of redress for injuries sustained by her has been offered to her?   

The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, I think the hon member is very much aware that this matter has been referred to the law enforcement agencies and we need to allow that process to take its course because if you say somebody must go – and I think we have seen it being handled at that level but what makes me feel that due processes are right is that a court case was open, the police were, so all the necessary processes are in place in making sure that the matter is dealt with adequately, in terms of our country.

Ms L C DLAMINI: What are the lessons that we can learn as a country in this case. I am just talking about women in general and violence against women.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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