AfriForum in court to challenge Dirco’s ‘DisGrace’ immunity decision
On Thursday, Afrikaans interest group AfriForum was in the High Court in Pretoria to argue against the Department of International Relations and Co-operation’s (Dirco) decision to grant the former first lady of Zimbabwe diplomatic immunity.
According to News 24, if the diplomatic immunity is reversed, the National Prosecuting Authority will be able to prosecute Grace Mugabe for her alleged August 2017 assault on South African model Gabriella Engels.
Mugabe is alleged to have assaulted Engels at a Johannesburg hotel where her sons were staying. Engels took to social media to recount how Mugabe had assaulted her with an extension cord, receiving deep lacerations on the back of her head and forehead.
But Mugabe claimed an “unhinged” Engels was the actual aggressor and filed court papers saying the model had attacked her “with a knife”.
Engels told News 24 on Thursday that although the attack was traumatising, she has made a speedy recovery.
After the incident, Mugabe was granted diplomatic immunity by then-Dirco minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, allowing her to escape charges of assault.
Later that August, AfriForum announced it would take on Engels’ case and make a review application to overrule Dirco’s decision.
According to News 24, Engels is optimistic about the case. “I know that she will come face the full might of the law … I leave it all in God’s hands to get us through everything.”