Accessibility links

Zimbabwe's First Lady Granted Immunity After Assault Allegation

  • VOA News

FILE - President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace arrive to chair ZANU PF's Politburo meeting at the party headquarters in Harare, Feb. 15, 2017.

Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe returned home Sunday from South Africa where she was accused of assaulting a model, state media reported.

South Africa's international relations minister granted the first lady diplomatic immunity Sunday, negating a "red alert" that had been issued at the South African border to prevent her from leaving the country.

"I hereby recognise the immunities and privileges of the First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr Grace Mugabe," Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said in a notice published in South Africa's Government Gazette on Sunday.

Mugabe landed in Harare with her husband, 93-year-old president Robert Mugabe, on an Air Zimbabwe plane Sunday.

Alleged attack

Last Sunday, Gabriella Engels, the woman who claims that Grace Mugabe attacked her, posted details of her ordeal on Twitter, along with graphic photos of a deep cut on her forehead from the extension cord she says Mugabe used to beat her.

Gabriella Engels touches her head during a media conference in Pretoria, South Africa, Aug. 17, 2017.
Gabriella Engels touches her head during a media conference in Pretoria, South Africa, Aug. 17, 2017.

Legendary South African prosecutor Gerrie Nel — nicknamed the Bulldog, who said he will be representing Engel, said she will not speak publicly until the trial.

But it is unclear when, if at all, a trial will take place.

XS
SM
MD
LG