SA police put blocks on #GraceMugabe from leaving the country

Marsha Scott
August 18, 2017

Mrs. Mugabe allegedly assaulted Gabriella Engels said to have been found with her children - Chatunga and Robert Junior - at a hotel in South Africa.

South Africa's police ministry said on Thursday that it is waiting for instruction from the worldwide relations department regarding Grace Mugabe's status before it proceeds.

The official told The Citizen she would be granted diplomatic immunity and be deemed immune from facing any charges as soon as her husband landed in the country.

She also showed Reuters photographs taken in the hours after the incident showing gashes on Gabriella's forehead and back of the head.

In a brief telephone call on Wednesday, Olga Bungu, a spokeswoman for Zimbabwe's first family, said: "I'm not at work; you can talk to Mr. Charamba".

The South African Police Service indicated on Wednesday, August 16 that Mrs Mugabe should still face the law.

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Police have said they were also on high alert to make sure that the 52-year-old wife of President Robert Mugabe does not skip the country, with an arrest warrant reportedly being considered.

He said diplomatic immunity could not be used to "escape prosecution from grave crimes".

But it is unclear whether Mr and Mrs Mugabe - known for their uncompromising nature - will agree to this, especially after Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party said in a tweet on Tuesday that the first lady had been "attacked", contradicting her accuser's version of events.

In 2009, she was granted diplomatic immunity by Hong Kong's Department of Justice after being accused of attacking a British photographer who took pictures of her shopping for designer clothes while her home country was mired in financial chaos and starvation. "We don't know where this issue of assault charges is coming from", said a senior government official, who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the press. "She has a penchant for abrasive and thuggish behaviour that is completely inconsistent with the decorum and decency expected of a First Lady", said MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu. "I was surprised. I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away", she told the News 24 website.

"Grace Mugabe is notorious for her explosive and discourteous temperament, particularly when she is dealing with people who she perceives to be powerless and under her authority".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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