Mugabe lands in South Africa amid Grace's drama

18 August 2017, 12:23 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Gabriella Engels is seen with an injury to her forehead in Johannesburg South Africa

Gabriella Engels is seen with an injury to her forehead in Johannesburg South Africa

A Zimbabwean intelligence source told Reuters she was not traveling on a diplomatic passport.

Authorities said Mrs Mugabe did not attend appointments rescheduled multiple times on the same day to receive a warning and present her side of the story.

The model who accuses Zimbabwe's first lady of assault, 20-year-old Gabriella Engels, has been offered legal assistance by a prominent lawyer who secured the murder conviction of Oscar Pistorius. She walked in with an extension cord and just started beating me with it. "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.

He was received by a South African delegation including Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele.

Department of home affairs spokesperson Thabo Mokgola declined to clarify whether a medical visa was issued to Mugabe and referred all enquiries to the department of global relations and co-operation (Dirco). Spies said that the letter refers to specific legislation around diplomatic immunity.

It is unclear whether such a gazette ever appeared.

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Foreign affairs spokesman Clayson Monyela had told AFP on Tuesday that her trip was "a private visit, so government can not get involved". The matter is with the police who are handling the matter in relation to the case that has been opened. "I wish I could assist you, but I really am not in a position to assist you".

A department spokesman declined to comment on the status of Mugabe's immunity bid on Thursday, but on Wednesday said the matter was under consideration.

"No I can't answer that".

If Engels' case goes to court and Mugabe is convicted a jail sentence could be possible, Nel said. It was not known whether Mugabe had requested diplomatic immunity.

"You need to apply for it, " said Roux, a director at BDK Attorneys. "Our investigations were completed, but before we could take the next step, the suspect applied to invoke diplomatic immunity".

The principle of diplomatic immunity usually extends to family members and people traveling with heads of state or diplomats.

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