Grace Mugabe’s assault immunity challenged

Zimbabwe first lady Grace Mugabe addresses the crowd during a Zimbabwe ruling party Zimbabwe African National Union Ð Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) youth rally at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera on June 2, 2017. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on June 2, 2017 launched a nationwide 10-venue speaking tour aimed at drumming up support ahead of elections next year when he plans to seek office again. The 93-year-old leader, who appeared in better health than at some recent public appearances, spoke for an hour and a half at a rally outside Harare attended by several thousand ZANU-PF supporters. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

Afrikaner lobby group Afriforum is heading to court to challenge a decision by the previous South African government to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

Zimbabwe’s former first lady is accused of assaulting model Gabriella Engels with an electric cord at an upmarket Johannesburg hotel, where her two sons were staying, in August last year.

Grace was expected to appear in court over the incident, but, in a controversial turn of events, the South African government granted her diplomatic immunity which allowed her to leave the country in the middle of the night.

The lobby group AfriForum, which is representing Grace’s alleged assault victim, wants the high court to annul the diplomatic immunity from prosecution granted to the former Zimbabwean first lady.

Grace has denied attacking the model and said she was defending herself from a knife wielding and intoxicated young woman.

The application by AfriForum will be heard over two days and, if successful, it would pave the way for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority to resume legal action against Grace./BBC




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