GRACE Mugabe (52) Zimbabwe’s first lady has sought diplomatic immunity in South Africa following allegations that she assaulted a 20-year-old model Gabriella Engels in an upmarket hotel in Johannesburg.
A law expert said if Grace is granted diplomatic immunity she would be exempted from prosecution, albeit her case would still be “processed through the legal system.”
A source close to the ANC, the ruling party, told Team Buntu Africa that the matter is under consideration even though Grace hadn’t entered the country under a diplomatic passport.
“If you ask me, the diplomatic immunity will be granted to Zimbabwe’s first lady because of close ties between South Africa and Zimbabwe,” the source said. “It’s a done deal.”
Speculation was rife on Tuesday that Grace had flown back to Zimbabwe after failing to appear at a court hearing relating to allegations that she attacked Gabriella with an electric extension chord.
The drama apparently unfolded after Grace found Gabriella and her two unnamed friends in the company of her two sons in a hotel room.
Engels’ mother Debbie told the press that Grace must face justice after her daughter had received 14 stitches on her head following the alleged assault last Sunday.
“I just want justice for my daughter. It’s not about money. It’s about justice. She attacked my child for no reason,” Debbie insisted.
Photographs taken after the incident show gashes on Gabriella’s forehead and back of the head. Another picture, taken on Wednesday, showed a large, livid bruise on her right thigh.
Reacting to news that Grace might be granted diplomatic immunity Gabriella, told the press that she was ‘furious’ at the thought that her attacker might never be held to account.
“I am scared she will never be held to account for what she did to me,” Gabriella said.