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AfriForum Takes Grace Mugabe Assault Case Back to Court

The Pretoria High Court will on Thursday hear a case brought by civil rights watchdog AfriForum against the granting of diplomatic immunity to former Zimbabwe First Lady Grace Mugabe by the South African government.

Last year Grace Mugabe was involved in an incident in which she was accused of whipping a 20-year-old South African model, Gabriella Engels‚ with an electrical cord at a hotel in Sandton, where her two sons where staying.

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“This court application is the first important step in a process to have Mugabe prosecuted for her alleged assault of Gabriella Engels, a young Johannesburg model, in August 2017.

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High drama reigned last year when it became known that Engels was allegedly assaulted by Mugabe with an electric cord because [Grace Mugabe] was unhappy with the escapades of her two sons in a luxury hotel in Sandton,” said AfriForum legal representative Willie Spies.

“At the time, the South African government decided in a very controversial manner to silently grant diplomatic immunity to Grace Mugabe, thus giving her the opportunity to return to Zimbabwe from South Africa and therefore evade prosecution in South Africa. Because of her being granted diplomatic immunity, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) could not further investigate the charges against Mugabe of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm and AfriForum therefore launched a court application to have the controversial grant set aside.”

Spies said various other institutions have since brought similar applications with the High Court in Pretoria, and also entered the proceedings as friends of the court; therefore, all the applications around this case will be heard simultaneously.

“Should AfriForum be successful in having this diplomatic immunity to Mugabe set aside, it will pave the way for the NPA to take steps to ultimately prosecute Mugabe. AfriForum indicated earlier that its private prosecuting unit under the leadership of Advocate Gerrie Nel stands ready to institute private prosecution should the NPA decide not to prosecute Mugabe,” said Spies.

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Written by How Africa

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