FORMER First Lady Grace Mugabe remains untouchable and will not be arrested upon entering South Africa because her diplomatic immunity status still holds, NewsDay has learnt.
Lawyers representing South African model Gabriella Engels, who was allegedly assaulted with an electric cable and left nursing a deep cut on the head by Grace late last year, said they were facing legal bottlenecks in pursuing the criminal matter.
Engels’ lawyer Willie Spies told NewsDay that the removal of President Robert Mugabe from office through a military intervention last November had not helped the situation as Grace still enjoyed diplomatic immunity across the Limpopo River.
“The fact remains that the prosecuting authority in South Africa does nothing [in bringing Grace to justice] while the immunity granted to the former First Lady, still stands,” he said.
Speaking in Davos recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Grace was not immune to prosecution.
Spies said the fight to get justice for the Engels was, however, not being slowed down with the South African courts seating next month to hear the application on lifting of the diplomatic immunity granted to Grace by the government of South Africa.
“There is movement in the case here as the application to formally set aside the granting of immunity is set down for hearing on 10 and 11 May,” he said.
Gabriella’s mother Debbie said they wanted Grace to answer the charges in South Africa.
“We are aware that she is no longer a person of power, that her husband was ousted from office and that the government of Zimbabwe said she does not enjoy any immunity anymore,” Engels’ mother said.
“In light of the latest developments, our lawyers are working on that case to secure justice for my child.”