Assault Case? South Africa To Grant Grace Mugabe Diplomatic Immunity
South Africa is planning to grant diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe first lady Grace Mugabe, allowing her to return to Harare and avoid prosecution for the alleged assault of a 20-year-old model, a government source said on Friday.
The source said there was “no way” Mugabe, 52, would be arrested for the alleged assault, but that Pretoria expected the granting of diplomatic immunity to be challenged in court.
According to Reuters,Grace, 52, has asked for diplomatic immunity in the case, although she has not been charged.
The alleged victim, 20-year-old model Gabriella Engels, has accused Mugabe of barging into a hotel where Engels was meeting with her sons, and whipping her with an electric cord.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula told reporters on Wednesday Grace had been due to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon under a deal struck with authorities, but she failed to turn up.
The South African government has made no official comment on the case and foreign ministry spokesmen have not answered their phones for two days, but the issue is causing waves at the highest level.