Grace Mugabe to appear in court over Johannesburg assault charge
Grace Mugabe‚ the wife of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe‚ has presented herself to South African police and is due to appear in a Johannesburg court on Tuesday.
This comes after a Johannesburg model claimed that she was assaulted by Grace after being in the company of her two sons at the weekend.
Gabriella Engels‚ 20‚ alleged she was assaulted at the Capital 20 West hotel in Sandton on Sunday night.
Engels said she suffered gashes to her forehead and scalp.
Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo declined to offer any details on the case when contacted telephonically on Tuesday morning.
However‚ he subsequently issued a statement saying: "Since yesterday‚ it has emerged on several media and social media platforms that a 20-year-old South African woman was allegedly assaulted by a prominent woman at a hotel in Sandton."
"The South African Police Service can confirm that after 16:00 yesterday‚ 14 August 2017‚ the 20-year-old woman registered a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
"The investigation into this case has already reached an advanced stage‚" Naidoo said.
"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."
On Monday‚ the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) and a criminal lawyer told TimesLIVE that diplomatic immunity would not apply in this case.
“Firstly‚ for it to apply‚ she needs to be here on official business. It won’t apply if she’s here on holiday or for something else‚” Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela said. “Secondly‚ as a First Lady‚ she’s not part of government or a government official. It doesn’t apply just because she’s the wife of a president‚” Monyela said.
Criminal law expert Ulrich Roux also dismissed the idea that diplomatic immunity would apply. He said a president or their spouse was just another foreign citizen.