South Africa issues arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe

Wednesday December 19 2018

Grace Mugabe.

Zimbabwe's ex-First Lady Grace Mugabe. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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South African police said Wednesday an arrest warrant had been issued for Grace Mugabe, wife of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, after she allegedly assaulted a model in Johannesburg in 2017.

"The police investigated and we made an application to the courts and the courts granted a warrant for the arrest... for the assault of Gabriella Engels," police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo told AFP.

The Randburg Magistrates court in Gauteng Province issued a warrant of arrest on December 13, charging Ms Mugabe with "assault causing grievous bodily harm".

Suffered cuts

"We are following the Interpol ( International Criminal Police) processes, so we applying for assistance to secure her arrest," Naidoo added.

The 53-year-old allegedly beat up Ms Engels using an electrical extension cord at a upmarket hotel in the business district of Sandton where her two sons were staying.

The model suffered cuts to her forehead and the back of her head.

At the time, the government granted Ms Mugabe diplomatic immunity, allowing her to leave South Africa.

Medical care

Lobby group AfriForum, which has been pursuing the case on Engel's behalf, welcomed the arrest warrant.

Mr Robert Mugabe, 94, was ousted as president of Zimbabwe in November 2017 after a brief military takeover when generals stepped in to end speculation that he was positioning his wife to succeed him.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has said Mr Mugabe has been in Singapore for medical care and now unable to walk because of ill health and old age.