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Wed. May 22nd, 2024

More organizations have joined Gabriella Engels in the legal battle between the model (20) and Grace Mugabe (52).

Three NGOs have joined the legal battle by model Gabriella Engels, assisted by AfriForum and the Democratic Alliance for the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to review and set aside the diplomatic immunity afforded to former Zimbabwe first lady Grace Mugabe following assault charges brought against her by Engels.

Freedom Under Law, the Women’s Legal Centre Trust and the Commission for Gender Equality were admitted as friends of the court to intervene in the application.

The prosecuting team has until February 21 next year to file their heads of argument.

The application follows an incident on August 13, this year in Sandton Hotel, South Africa, where Gabriella claims to have been assaulted by Grace Mugabe, who was then a First Lady in Zimbabwe.

The 20 year old model claims that Ms Mugabe burst into the hotel room where she was at with one of the lady’s sons, and immediately started hitting her with an electric power code.

Gabriella says that she got bruised on her forehead and at the back of her head, from Mugabe’s hitting.

The model laid assault charges against Grace Mugabe but she was however granted diplomatic immunity by the South African government, and didn’t show up at the court.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation when explaining the reason why she granted immunity to Ms Mugabe, she informed that the country could not risk failing the summit that was already in progress.

According to Nkoana-Mashabane she had to afford Mugabe immunity as the SADC summit was in progress and any enforcement action against the head of State attending the summit, would cause chaos.

She stated that if Mugabe was arrested for the alleged assault, it could have even caused the collapse of the summit and impact very negatively on the reputation and international standing of South Africa.

‘A failed summit would not be in the interests of the country,’ the minister said.

Following the current situation now that Grace Mugabe is no longer the Zimbabwe First Lady, it revokes her immunity making her fit for prosecution – sources explain.

‘Grace Mugabe’s attack on Ms Engels was vicious and unjustified. It was the act of a person who has come to believe that she is above the law,’ James Selfe of the DA stated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu

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