Grace Mugabe: From First Lady to 'Wanted Criminal'

Harare - How the mighty have fallen. 

Exactly a month after stepping from the State House, dispatched former Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe's wife Grace is now a wanted criminal in South Africa.

This comes after South African lobby group AfriForum has announced that a warrant of arrest has been issued for former First Lady Grace Mugabe for assaulting South African model Gabriella Engels last year.

Grace allegedly bashed the model with an extension cable at a Johannesburg hotel suite in August 2017, after she lost control when she found the model in the company of her sons, who had been behaving wildly at that time. 

 Engels who is being represented by South African advocacy group AfriForum has vowed to take Grace to court to get justice.

“We can report that the warrant of arrest has been issued for Grace Mugabe. It seems that justice is going to take place and we are looking forward to this matter going forward," AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel said. 
Robert and Grace Mugabe

National police spokesman brigadier Vishnu Naidoo confirmed the arrest warrant was issued on December 13.

After assaulting the model, Grace Mugabe was granted diplomatic immunity by South Africa’s former Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) Maite Nkoana-Mashabane which protected her from criminal prosecution. 

 Aggrieved with the decision, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and lobby group AfriForum approached the courts and filed an application to have the decision to grant Mugabe amnesty reviewed and set aside. 

In July, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg overturned the decision to grant diplomatic immunity to the former first lady. 

Judge Bashier Vally ruled that the decision to grant Grace diplomatic immunity was inconsistent with the South African Constitution, and must be set aside.

The alleged assault took place in August 2017 after Mrs Mugabe found Ms Engels with her two sons, Robert and Chatunga, in a hotel room in Sandton, a wealthy suburb in the city's north.

The then first lady was in South Africa to be treated for an ankle injury, Zimbabwean media reported. Ms Engels released an image of a head injury online. "When Grace entered I had no idea who she was," she told South African's News24 at the time.

"She walked in with an extension cord and just started beating me with it. She flipped and just kept beating me with the plug. Over and over. I had no idea what was going on. I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away."

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