Zimbabwe’s former First Lady Grace Mugabe nicknamed ‘Dr Cables’ has been reportedly summoned to the Pretoria High Court on May 10 and 11 for allegedly assaulting South African national Gabriella Engels with electrical cables.
South African civil rights watchdog Afriforum released a statement following their legal challenge after Grace waived diplomatic immunity which blocked her from being prosecuted .
“The civil rights watchdog AfriForum’s application against an earlier decision by the Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) to grant diplomatic immunity to Grace Mugabe, the former first lady of Zimbabwe, will be heard in the High Court in Pretoria on 10 and 11 May 2018,” the organisation said.
“This court application is the first important step in a process to have Mugabe prosecuted for her alleged assault of Gabriella Engels, a young Johannesburg model, in August 2017.
“High drama reigned last year when it became known that Engels was allegedly assaulted by Mugabe with an electric cord because last mentioned was unhappy with the escapades of her two sons in a luxury hotel in Sandton,” Afriforum said.
Afriforum highlighted how Grace and her sons were extravagant while basking in Robert Mugabe, their father’s abuse of power.
“It is common knowledge that Mugabe and her offspring maintained extravagant lifestyles and spent enormous amounts of money on accommodation, shopping and parties in among others Sandton and Johannesburg when she was still the first lady of Zimbabwe.
The organization explained how Grace escaped prosecution.
“At the time the South African government decided in a very controversial manner to silently grant diplomatic immunity to Grace Mugabe, thus giving her the opportunity to return to Zimbabwe from South Africa and therefore evade prosecution in South Africa. Because of her being granted diplomatic immunity, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) could not further investigate the charges against Mugabe of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm and AfriForum therefore launched a court application to have the controversial grant set aside.
“Various other institutions have since brought similar applications with the High Court in Pretoria and also entered the proceedings as friends of the court; therefore, all the applications around this case will be heard simultaneously,” said Afriforum.
Afriforum also said upon successful quashing of Grace’s diplomatic immunity, NPA should prosecute Mugabe’s wife.
“Should AfriForum be successful in having this diplomatic immunity to Mugabe set aside, it will pave the way for the NPA to take steps to ultimately prosecute Mugabe. AfriForum indicated earlier that its private prosecuting unit under leadership of Adv. Gerrie Nel stands at the ready to institute private prosecution should the NPA decide not to prosecute Mugabe,” said the organisation.