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South Africa reportedly to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity

South Africa reportedly to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity

Police had put border posts on "red alert" in South Africa to prevent her from fleeing and said she would not benefit from special treatment in the case involving Gabriella Engels.

"When Grace entered, I had no idea who she was, "Engels told South Africa's News24".

Mugabe allegedly assaulted Gabriella Engels in a Sandton Hotel on Sunday.

This had upset Engels as she thought her attacker might not be brought to book for the alleged crime.

The lawyers did not reveal the amount offered.

"The family was approached via third parties, offering them money to settle the matter", said Nel.

A South African rights group Afriforum, which is advising the 20-year-old, denounced as a "disgrace" the reported plans.

"We have made the offer to give her protection, but for security details I don't want to go too much into detail". "If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse" in the 2018 election, she said early this year.

Supporting Engels at the news conference, her mother Debbie said she could now sleep at night, knowing her daughter's attacker would not walk off scot-free "for doing what she did to my child".

The rumours that Ms Mugabe is about to be let off the hook have caused uproar among South Africans, who have become exhausted of seeing politically connected people escape justice because of whom they know. "Now I know that this woman (Grace) is not going to get off scot-free for what she did to my child", she said.

It is expected that a grant of diplomatic immunity would be challenged in court.

She's yet to be granted immunity.

Diplomatic relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa have never been this strained.

A police statement said the Zimbabwean government has asked for diplomatic immunity for a suspect involved in the assault.

"She needs to be here on official business". It won't apply if she's here on holiday or for something else. Gabriela was supposed to meet one of Mugabe's sons at the hotel before the first lady barged in and whipped her.

Phephelaphi Dube, director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, said: "Representatives of the state who are participating in an worldwide conference can also receive immunity for the duration of the stay or meeting".

The move to ground the Air Zimbabwe aircraft, a Boeing 767 used by President Robert Mugabe when he flew to South Africa on Wednesday to attend the 37th SADC Heads of State Summit, and Zimbabwe's swift tit-for-tat response, has added a new strain to relations between the two countries.

Grace has in the past been caught in incidents of violence. She was granted immunity after an alleged attack on a British photographer in 2009.



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