Zimbabwe’s controversial first lady, Grace Mugabe has reportedly been granted diplomatic immunity. File picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance will demand an immediate parliamentary inquiry into government’s complicity in allowing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace "to flee the country in the dead of night to avoid criminal prosecution", the DA said on Sunday.

The inquiry should call on the ministers of police, international relations and co-operation, and defence and military veterans to account for their failures, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said.

"It is simply inexplicable how this has happened again. It illustrates how unrepentant the ANC government is and, following its complicity in allowing Sudanese president Omar al Bashir to escape an international arrest warrant, shows that the ANC government will continue to do exactly what it wants to protect their dodgy friends," he said.

"This government has no more legitimacy in the arena of international diplomacy and displays a total disregard for the rule of law. Indeed, the ANC has turned South Africa into a playground for the political elite and their criminal associates to act with impunity."

The DA in parliament would never allow this state of affairs to continue and would demand a thorough inquiry into this latest and predictable failure by the executive. The ANC was content to "sell South Africa to the highest bidder, but they must be reminded that parliament is neither captured nor for sale".

"The ANC can no longer be trusted to govern. South Africans have had enough. This is why the motion to usher in new elections should be supported. We cannot afford another two years of the ANC's disastrous term," Steenhuisen said.

According to media reports, Grace Mugabe has left South Africa and has been granted diplomatic immunity following her alleged assault on a South African woman.

Eyewitness News said it had reliably learnt that Grace Mugabe had left the country. “Sources say the first lady left South Africa in the early hours of Sunday morning along with her husband President Robert Mugabe.” 

Robert Mugabe was in South Africa to attend a Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Pretoria, but has reportedly left before the summit concludes on Sunday.

The TimesLIVE reported that the Mugabes’ departure followed “high-level discussions in South Africa to grant her diplomatic immunity after a hotel rampage that saw Grace assault a woman and hotel staff in Sandton‚ Johannesburg”. “It appears that the South African government has indeed granted her immunity,” TimesLIVE reported.

The South African government has yet to comment on the matter.
African News Agency