Published: Sat, August 19, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Twitter mocks 'detained' Grace Mugabe amid diplomatic moves

Twitter mocks 'detained' Grace Mugabe amid diplomatic moves

It all started on Sunday when Grace Mugabe, wife of President Robert Mugabe, walked in on her two adult sons and a model named Gabriella Engels at an upscale hotel in Johannesburg.

Her 93-year-old husband, President Robert Mugabe, is also in South Africa for a regional summit, complicating the diplomatic dilemma confronting Pretoria, which already has a hard relationship with its troubled northern neighbour.

Reports say Grace turned herself in when she went to a police station on Tuesday to report the case.

Nel threatened to go to court if South Africa's government grants Mugabe immunity, saying it can not be used to "escape prosecution from grave crimes".

Engels also claims that Mugabe's aides offered her a bribe to keep silent, but Engels says she was emboldened by allegations that the first lady is a serial abuser.

Photographs posted on social media showed a cut to Engels' forehead, which reportedly required 14 stitches.

"Gerrie Nel and the team have contingency plans", Debbie said.

Minorities' rights lobby group AfriForum, which is providing legal assistance to Ms Engels, has vowed to oppose any move by the government to grant Ms Mugabe diplomatic immunity.

"For them, it's about justice and that impressed me because that is why we created this office: to ensure that justice is done and to ensure that they are no selective prosecutions".

Ms Engels' representatives also said they had sent a letter to the government over a convention that diplomatic immunity can not be used to escape prosecution from grave crimes.

President Mugabe, who had already been scheduled to visit Pretoria this week for a southern African regional summit, arrived two days early to help resolve his wife's legal problems, a source said.

Zimbabwe's government has made no official comment.

According to Mbalula, Mugabe was cooperating with police which meant she did not have to be arrested. Police said the incident was reported but no charges were brought.

Nicknamed "The Pitbull" for his combative style in the blockbuster Pistorius trial, he also said detectives had told Engels they were seeking an arrest warrant for Mugabe.

She said that women were human beings and like anybody else, some were bound to make mistakes "just like man do".

Brian Raftopoulos, a veteran political analyst and academic, said: "There is gross extortion of public funds and some of this is spent to protect the first family in the context of real uncertainty about the future of the succession".

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