SA model seeks to strip Mrs Mugabe of immunity

By Béatrice DEBUT | AFP |

The South African glamour model who accuses Zimbabwe’s first lady of battering her with an electrical plug launched a legal bid on Tuesday to have Grace Mugabe stripped of her immunity.

19/09/2017. Gabriella Engels and her mother Debbie Engels outside the Pretoria High Court. (Picture: Zelda Venter/Pretoria News)
19/09/2017. Gabriella Engels and her mother Debbie Engels outside the Pretoria High Court. (Picture: Zelda Venter/Pretoria News)

Gabriella Engels and her lawyers sought to persuade the North Gauteng High Court to allow them to proceed with their effort to have Mugabe’s diplomatic immunity lifted.

Engels, 20, claims that Mugabe beat her repeatedly with an electrical cord in a Johannesburg hotel on August 13.

A public spat followed in which Engels and critics of President Robert Mugabe sought to have Grace arrested, charged and brought to court.

But South African authorities controversially granted Mugabe diplomatic immunity and she left the country.

The legal effort to have Mugabe’s immunity lifted was opposed by Zimbabwe’s embassy which argued that it is not obliged to help Engels’ team locate Grace, a necessary first step in challenging her immunity.

“We know it is going to be a big fight but we are ready for the fight and we do believe justice will prevail in this case,” said Gabriella Engels’ mother Debbie.

“She is better. She is trying to pick up the pieces of her life and carry on with her life.”

– ‘A serious crime’ –

AfriForum, a lobby group that typically supports white workers in South Africa, said that Mugabe was not in the country on official business and so did not meet the conditions for immunity.

“Grace Mugabe was in South Africa for private business, she was here for medical attention. During this private visit she committed a crime,” said AfriForum lawyer Willie Spies.

“That is defined in international law as a grave crime (assault with the intention to cause grievous body harm).

“It is a serious crime. That is not the kind of crime you could qualify for immunity.”

Lawyers for Zimbabwe’s embassy in South Africa argued on a technicality that Engels’ team had not followed the law in bringing their bid.

“If we allow this application, we make a precedent. You cannot serve papers on a spouse at her husband’s work address,” said lawyer Simba Chitango.

“It does not make grammatical sense or even legal sense to say Grace Mugabe lives at the presidency.”

AfriForum accused the Zimbabwean side of trying to delay proceedings.

After three hours of hearings, the court reserved judgement. The case continues and could take many months to conclude.

Mugabe has alleged in the media that Engels in fact assaulted her and was “drunk” and armed with a “knife” during the incident.

Grace Mugabe is one of the frontrunners to replace her 93-year-old husband although a string of recent gaffes have hurt her credibility at home and abroad.

South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance party has also sought to oppose Mugabe’s immunity, appealing to the Constitutional Court to have it overturned.

Despite an International Criminal Court war crimes arrest warrant, Sudanese President Omar Bashir was effectively given immunity and allowed to attend a meeting of the African Union in Johannesburg in 2015.

  • Why is she wasting her time???

    • She thinks all this publicity will land her into the arms of a rich man!
      And she probably thinks she will get a Noble price for taking a first lady Head on…. Foolish girl

      • Gymbunny

        Nobel prize….

      • Lethal Sansole

        Is she not entitled to seek justice for the common assault she suffered at Mugabe`s hands?

  • Plug? Chirungu chacho so

  • lo sebhowa njani akusela yini okunye Admin

  • To show that is just a drummer, this is second episode.

  • Shungu dzakawanda pamakaradhi asi tambo yemagetsi yakamusvuura muhure uyu

  • What is justice?

  • Who is funding this girl

    • Lethal Sansole

      What if she is self funding?

  • it’s too late naw

  • You just gonna milk this goat till the end of time handi?

  • you wasting your sister go and get life we are talking about RG MUGABE’s wife the unshakable and simbi inodya dzimwe simbi if you had take 2million compensation it could have been better

  • People actually think these people are untouchable nothing last forever see what happened to Saddam and Gadaffi chinobhururuka chinomhara rimwe gore zvichapera zvese izvi

  • She aint a glamour anything though

  • Is the strip the diplomatic immunity they must compansate zimbos they slaughtered like chicken on xemophobia attacks

  • Chiiko choshamisira pakurohwa dai aka compensetwa it would hve been btr…why push that girl this far …shem

  • wild goose chase

  • I don’t symphatize with Gold diggers

  • Let it go

  • a waste of tym,,,wy do dey want to waste Magistrates & Judges tym,,,yu lost de case long bek no nid to think other wyz,,,yu thot yu will win Grace,,,if i wey yu cud hav took de offer fr dat cheque,,bt yu refused,,yu won’t see such an offer again in yo lyf,,,kkkkk

  • If it was a white woman who beat the young lady there would a total outcry even from political movements.

    • Well,it wasn’t a white woman,I guess we will never know now will we?

    • Lethal Sansole

      Misplaced loyalties. We have to start with enforcing justice in our own backyard hundidti?

  • She is not accusing she was attached. Can having people with barbaric behaviours be the coolest thing for a country. Mugabe should go with his makeshift wife. I hear people saying Mugabe’s son instead of being open Mugabe’s step son. Children should be disciplined by their father or his subordinate. Commiting crime in front of the world. If she is supper why did she have to sneek out with a different way she came into South Africa with. No one is above the law. If something was very wrong the bodyguards could have handled the issues. Praising small house who doesn’t have a. Place in any issues. Saka Zimbabwe yawora.

    • If the is law in SA hw comes its rated highest in crime rate n foregners were killed during xemophobia attacks n theyre evn killed everyday n a bus frm zim was burnt after the diplomatic immunity judgement n nothing was done

  • Those with limited thinking capacities tirikukuonai. Dzenyu dzatoguma ipapa #haisimhosva

  • She has been paid already. They are cooling the case bit by bit.

  • Afriforum from Gutu is causing all this.

  • kurota chaiko

  • Damn I don’t wish to be this girl. The whole family seem to have fucked her In different ways. First is was Mugabe’s son in bed and next was Mugabe’s wife by whooping her ass.

  • Bennett kwana

  • kikikikikiki sharz daiuri umwe wasiyana nazvo coz it’s wasted effort


  • Too late. You should have taken money. What if she goes to court and then given suspended sentence. 500k was enough to change your life

  • Hure takakuudza pachinenguva kuti tora mari

  • She was attacked by Grace. Grace is not a suspect in this case but an assailant! Criminal!

  • She is not a model just an escort look her up u will see that she is fro those sites redvelvet etc and escort it just an executive name for prostitute i dont like grace but i think she is wasting time any mother could have reacted the same or worse


  • Waste of time

  • Gymbunny

    So Simba accepts that you cannot serve papers to a spouse at
    her husband’s work address?

    So surely it follows the logic that the spouse cannot and
    should not utilise the husband’s work for legal disputes, therefore immunity
    using the husband’s job should not be sought and following his own logic it is
    void and doesn’t make sense.

    The defense the prosecution can use is the special
    relationship that exists between the accused and her husband’s work. Her defense
    team has come from the husband’s work, the initial request for diplomatic
    immunity came from the husband’s work and the statement counterclaiming that
    the first lady was attacked also came from the husband’s work.

    This shows that the embassy as a representation of the
    husband’s work serves a special relationship to the accused and is an
    appropriate correspondence and delivery medium as the accused has used the
    embassy and presidency in her defense thus far.

  • Grab the money and Go!!

  • Wasting yo tyme.Coz this the first family mind u

  • A shame lovey first chatunga then Grace now Afriforum. Get out of it!

  • Go for it baby

  • wasting time

  • Glamour model?? Really? She should have taken that out of court settlement instead of allowing herself to be used to pursue Afriforum’s agenda. She is likely to come out empty handed.

    • Muchati Bhuu

      Definately she should have taken the cash….now the cunning Afriforum will use her for publicity till the story sizzles off…..all stories eventually die down

  • Good luck

  • Grace has killed and got away with it.slept with a married man even managed to marry him. Looted a country dry. Bought a doctorate degree beat up junourlists believe me she has done it all. This girl is fighting the queen of sinners. If she has something else to do I’d advise her to spend her time doing priductive things than trying the impossible

  • Kow

    The bone of contention is with Disgrace everytime she beats someone she rushes to get diplomatic immunity because she is a first lady and this has to stop

  • Muchati Bhuu

    The little prostitute foolishly took Afriforum’s advice.Big mistake…she should have grabbed the cash

  • Keep dreaming little thought you were going to make a dollar, just shut up and move on Diplomatic Immune is real thing and stick with Grace even after Mugabe dies and until she dies

  • My question is: if she win the case is Grace Mugabe going to be extradited to South Africa to serve the sentence if not attending the courts?

  • Go ahead gal

  • Musikana uyu Dai akatoppotserana zvibhakera zvakatobhadhat

  • Ngakapenge mushe

  • Everyone wants money in life but they prioritised ‘justice’ as if it improves ther welfare. Their refusal of an out of court settlement “should” have been their greatest shortcoming. Meno, let’s see

  • Saxton

    Yes ‘electrical plug’ is correct but plug cable would be better.

    I have no idea who is legally advising this woman. This case will leave her regretting the day she refused a payment offer from Grace. Solving dispute out of court is better in many cases involving rich people. The rich usually come to their senses and would settle to pay more and protect their reputation.
    On the other hand no one knew this woman before being assaulted by Grace, she could have got away rich and continued her modeling career. Newspapers just chase good stories and they will soon dish her dirty linen to sell more. In summary papers don’t care about the verdict they just need a juicy story.
    At times it pays to be logical and look after yourself interest first rather than promoting a lawyer’s career.
    A win verdict without compensation will equally be stressful like losing the case.

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