‘We can successfully prosecute Grace Mugabe for assault’ – top lawyer

Advocate Gerrie Nel speaks at an AfriForum briefing on its plan to support Gabriella Engels, who claims that she was assaulted by Grace Mugabe. Picture: Hitekani Magwedze/EWN
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PRETORIA – Lobby group AfriForum says it’s confident that, if needs be, it can successfully prosecute Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe for assault.

Johannesburg resident Gabriella Engels claims that Mugabe assaulted her with an extension cord at a Sandton hotel on Sunday after finding her with her sons.

But Mugabe failed to hand herself over to police as agreed earlier this week and is now claiming diplomatic immunity.

AfriForum has announced that it is assisting Engels and says that if the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) fails to take action against Mugabe in the next three months, it will step in.

Advocate Gerrie Nel, nicknamed the Bulldog, has vowed to ensure that the first lady is prosecuted.

“We’ll do what is needed to ensure that justice is done.”

Nel says that despite the delays so far, the State must be given a chance.

“I think they shouldn’t immediately lose confidence in the South African police and NPA, there’s a process. They might even deal with this matter and if that happens then we’ll be in a supporting role.”

The International Relations Department has indicated that it is in contact with the Zimbabwean government after Mugabe invoked diplomatic immunity.

AfriForum says if this is granted, it will approach the High Court.