First Lady Grace Mugabe has been charged for assaulting a young woman with an extension chord at a luxury hotel
In this Feb. 21, 2017 file photo Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe addresses party supporters at an event to mark her husband, Zimbabean Presdient Robert Mugabe's upcoming 93rd birthdayin Harare, Zimbabwe. Mugabe has requested diplomatic immunity over an allegation that she assaulted a young model in Johannesburg earlier this week. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File), photo: AP/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File
16 of August 2017 17:56:04
JOHANNESBURG – South African officials are debating whether to grant diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe, who is accused of assaulting a 20-year-old model in Johannesburg this week.Mugabe remains in South Africa after a day of intense speculation over her whereabouts, South African police said in a Wednesday statement.The police said the Zimbabwean government asked for diplomatic immunity for a suspect involved in the alleged assault. The police have declined to name Mugabe in the case as she has not yet appeared in court.Mugabe's immunity request is currently under consideration, Clayson Monyela, a spokesman for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation told a news agency.Acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba said earlier on Wednesday that police and national prosecutors wanted to charge Mugabe, according to the African News Agency. "Our position was that she must go to court," he said.Gabriella Engels registered a case with police on Monday accusing Mugabe, 52, of attacking her with an extension cord in a luxury hotel in a Johannesburg suburb late Sunday evening.Engels said she been in a hotel room with mutual friends of Mugabe's two sons, who live in Johannesburg, when the first lady burst into the room and allegedly assaulted her. Photos of Engels posted on social media show a bloody gash to her forehead that she claimed was a result of the encounter.Confusion over whether Mugabe was still in the country flared up on Tuesday after South Africa's police minister said she was due to appear in a South African court and she did not show up, fueling speculation she may have returned to Zimbabwe.Police clarified on Wednesday that while the suspect had failed to present herself to police to obtain a "warning statement" about the case, she remained in the country and had sent her lawyers and Zimbabwe government officials to tell police she intended to request diplomatic immunity."Discussions with the suspect's lawyers and the Zimbabwean High Commission representatives are taking place to make sure that the suspect is processed through the legal system," the police statement said.