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The First Lady Of Zimbabwe Got Immunity Over An Alleged Assault And South Africans Are Pissed

"This whole outrage surrounding Grace Mugabe puzzles me, did people really expect some form of justice?"

Posted on August 21, 2017, at 9:11 a.m. ET

The South African government has granted diplomatic immunity to Grace Mugabe, the first lady of Zimbabwe, after she allegedly physically assaulted a woman a hotel room in Johannesburg.

Jekesai Njikizana / AFP / Getty Images

Days after a 20-year-old woman filed charges against Mugabe, officials from South Africa and Zimbabwe gave conflicting stories on the whereabouts of the first lady.

But on Aug. 19, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane signed a government notice stating that she had “recognized the immunities and privileges of the First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr Grace Mugabe,” citing South Africa’s Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act.

Following the government's decision, South Africans took to Twitter to express their disagreement.

Some pointed out the irony that Mugabe's immunity was granted during Women's Month in South Africa.

Twitter: @pmdsk1

"Mzsani" is Zulu for "south."

Others implied that Mugabe had tried to silence the South African government with money in order to avoid charges.

A few people pointed out South Africa's pattern of not acting against politicians who are wanted for crimes.

Twitter: @DeepFriedMan

The South African High Court declared last year that President Jacob Zuma should have been charged with 783 counts of alleged corruption, fraud, and racketeering. Earlier this summer, the International Criminal Court criticized South Africa for not arresting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir — who has been charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide — when he was in the country.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.