South Africa’s human rights organisation Afriforum today said a warrant of arrest has been issued against former First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Grace is accused of assaulting South African model Gabriella Engels at a Sandton hotel in Johannesburg in August 2017 but could not be arrested or prosecuted after obtaining diplomatic immunity.
The Afrikaaner organisation said if the South African government refused to prosecute Grace, it would go for private prosecution.
The South Gauteng High Court today ruled that the decision by Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, former Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity should be set aside.
Judge Bashier Vally said the former minister’s decision to grant Grace Mugabe immunity was unconstitutional and that she is responsible for the legal costs of AfriForum and Engels.
Afriforum legal representative Willie said: “We welcome the judgement. This decision paves the way for the institution of criminal prosecution steps against Ms. Mugabe after she last year assaulted and seriously injured Engels, a Johannesburg model, with an extension cord.”
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, welcomed the news saying: “This is the result of a very long process. AfriForum first had to approach the court to have Mugabe’s diplomatic immunity set aside which paved the way for the police to investigate and it has now reached a point where an arrest can be made.
“We hope this sends a very clear message that no one is above the law, even if your name is Mugabe.”
Afriforum Private Prosecution Unit said it had been informed that the National Prosecuting Authority has applied to have Grace Mugabe extradited to South Africa.
“We hope that the prosecution of Grace Mugabe will commence shortly and we will monitor the case. AfriForum gets involved in issues like this to ensure that people with political power do not get away with committing crimes. Grace Mugabe must be brought to book for her deeds and this is the first step in ensuring that miss Engels will get justice soon,” said Gerrie Nel head of Afriforum’s Private Prosecution Unit.
Grace Mugabe lost her husband last month.