Diplomatic immunity: How it could be granted to Grace Mugabe

21 Août, 2017, 10:00 | Author: Lucrece Courtet
  • Grace Mugabe to appear in court over Johannesburg assault charge

The government has been accused of "blatant abuse of national and worldwide law" for granting Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe immunity against prosecution for allegedly assaulting 20-year-old South African model Gabriella Engels in Sandton a week ago. "She is not somebody who has been running away", Mbalula said, according to South Africa's News24.

Pressure continues to mount for the government to take action against Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe for the alleged assault of a 20-year-old Johannesburg woman.

John Steenhuisen, a senior opposition official, compared the South African handling of the Mugabe case to the government's decision to allow Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to leave the country in 2015 even though he was wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, the African News Agency reported.

Engels posted a photo of the gash she suffered, claiming that over 10 body guards were present as the wife of the president assaulted her and two of the model's friends for hanging out with Mugabe sons, Robert Jnr, 25, and Chatunga Bellarmine, 21, whom they met at a party.

Mugabe, wife of Zimbabwe's longtime ruler, 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, is accused of beating a woman with an extension cord August 13 during a trip to Johannesburg. "And the granting of diplomatic immunity would transgress the law", Afriforum chief executive Kallie Kriel said.

South African Airways said Zimbabwe had placed restrictions on its operations, affecting its flights between the neighbouring countries.

South Africa's government said it had not yet decided whether to grant the request for diplomatic immunity.

If a personal passport was used, giving diplomatic immunity may have been more problematic for the South African government and Mrs. Mugabe.

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"She is living in fear actually to go out into the public now".

"That is the first issue, whether she was indeed a special envoy or representative of her country".

"She had an electric cord wrapped around her hand and she started attacking them".

Zimbabwean officials have declined to comment either on the allegations against the first lady or her immunity claim. "It doesn't apply just because she's the wife of a president", said Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

This is because President Robert Mugabe, now attending a SADC summit in Pretoria, travelled to South Africa on an AirZim chartered flight.

Seen as a potential successor to her husband, Grace Mugabe is known for her temper.

Mugabe has been accused of assaults during other overseas trips, including a 2009 visit to Hong Kong in which a photographer accused her of beating him up.


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