PRETORIA, October 6 – The North Gauteng High Court is on Friday expected to make a judgement regarding the application brought by South African model Gabriella Engels and AfriForum to serve Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe with court papers in order to challenge the immunity she was granted while facing charges of assaulting Engels.
The 52-year-old wife of Zimbabwe’s ageing president Robert Mugabe, 93, is said to have assaulted Engels in August at a hotel but was controversially granted diplomatic immunity by South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
Lobby group Afriforum and the 20-year-old model, who suffered a large gash to the face and bruises in the attack in which she was allegedly whipped with an electric cord by Mugabe, wants the diplomatic immunity set aside.
AfriForum legal representative, Eteinne Lubaschagne had asked Judge Harshila Koovertjie to authorise them to serve notice of the application on Mugabe at the office of the president of Zimbabwe in Harare.
In her defence Mugabe, who was at the hotel to see her sons, says a “drunk, unhinged” Gabriella Engels attacked her with a knife.