Zimbabwe has requested diplomatic immunity for the fugitive first lady, Grace Mugabe, after she was accused of assaulting a model at a hotel in Johannesburg, according to a statement from South Africa’s police ministry. The suspect’s lawyers “and her government representatives made verbal representations … that the suspect wished to invoke diplomatic immunity cover”, it said.
The statement also confirmed that the wife of the 93-year-old Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe it still in hiding in South Africa, despite reports that she had returned home after failing to turn herself in to face charges of assault.
Mugabe is accused of attacking 20-year-old Gabriella Engels with an electrical extension cord after the model went to see the Mugabes’ sons Robert and Chatunga at the Capital 20 West Hotel in Johannesburg’s upmarket Sandton district on Sunday.
Wanted For Assault By South Africa Police: Zimbabwe’s First lady, Grace Mugabe “Escapes”
Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe has not surrendered to South African police, to face a criminal charge for assaulting a 20 year-old model, Gabriella Engels. Indeed, she has evaded police radar, according to news reports from South Africa. Her disappearance debunked an earlier statement by Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, who had said Mugabe handed herself over to the police.
“[She] is not under arrest because she co-operated, and handed herself over to police,” Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said earlier on Tuesday.
But the police later revised their story.
“The negotiations over the suspect handing herself over have not concluded and our investigations have not finalised,” police national spokesman Vishnu Naidoo said later.
Without naming Mugabe, national police confirmed that a case of with intent to do grievous bodily harm was opened against a “prominent woman” after the alleged assault at a hotel in Sandton.
“The investigation into this case has already reached an advanced stage. The suspect in this matter cannot be named because she has not as yet appeared in court. We request that the SAPS be allowed to conduct a thorough investigation and to follow due process,” Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said in a statement.
ROBERT MUGABE, GRACE MUGABE AND GABRIELLA ENGELS
Naidoo also said a court appearance for Grace Mugabe is not yet on the table.
“As long as we don’t have a suspect in custody, we cannot say when they will appear in court. The minister learned later that it just didn’t materialise as it was supposed to,” Naidoo said.
Charged With Assault: Zimbabwe’s First lady, Grace Mugabe Turns Herself In To South Africa Police
Zimbabwe’s first lady,Grace Mugabe, who handed herself in to South African police on Tuesday has cooperated with police and will be charged with assault the police minister, Fikile Mbalula has said. This followed reports that she attacked a young woman in Johannesburg, .
South African media said Grace was in the country to have an injured foot examined. She was traveling on an ordinary non-diplomatic passport.
On whether she could be arrested while having diplomatic immunity, Mbalula said:
“All those implications will be taken into consideration.” He then added: “She will be charged. She is not under arrest because she cooperated and handed herself over to the police. But a case has been opened,” he said.
It was not clear at which court Grace would appear.
Zimbabwe’s First Lady, has allegedly beaten up 20-year-old model Gabriella Engels who had been visiting the Mugabes’ sons Robert and Chatunga at a hotel in Mzansi, the upmarket Sandton district over the weekend
The woman Gabriella Engels took to her Instagram to write about the incident:
“Rob jnr was put out of the hotel room and Bellermine ran away.“My two friends and I were beaten up in a room with 10+ men leaving her to do it.”She added in another tweet: “She split my head open in three places with an extension cord and used the plug to hit me.”
Gabriella Engels also said:
“When Grace entered, I had no idea who she was. She walked in with an extension cord and just started beating me with it. She flipped and just kept beating me with the plug. Over and over. I had no idea what was going on. I was surprised … I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away…I am a model, with this scar over my face my whole career is ruined.”
Furthermore, the first lady while screaming and kicking her, grabbed Gabriella Engels by the dreadlocks and with the assistant of her aids, they beat her up
52-year-old Grace Mugabe is a possible successor to her husband, 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.