Grace Mugabe pursued for assault case
Former Zimbabwe first lady Grace Mugabe was accused of assaulting a South African model with an electrical extension cord in a Sandton hotel in August last year.
Gabriella Engels, who was then 20, said Mugabe allegedly assaulted her after finding her in the company of her two sons Chatunga and Robert Mugabe Jr.
The incident sparked a diplomatic frenzy between South Africa and Zimbabwe after Mugabe went back to Harare without facing the law, taking advantage of diplomatic immunity.
However, there were arguments that she could not enjoy such immunity as she was not in the country on official business at the time of the incident.
After much pushing and pulling on the matter, former public prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who is now head of private prosecutions for lobby group AfriForum, announced that he was going to help Engels with the private prosecution of Mugabe.
The matter is now subject to a high court application in which AfricaForum wants the court to reverse the decision by Pretoria to grant Mugabe immunity.
Engels’s hopes for justice were renewed in November last year after Mugabe’s husband Robert was toppled as president of Zimbabwe in a bloodless coup.
The model called on new Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa to hand over the former first lady to South Africa to be prosecuted for the alleged assault on her.