Grace Mu­gabe pur­sued for as­sault case

Sunday World - - Sunday Report -

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.

Grace Mu­gabe

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