South Africa issues arrest warrant for former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe

South African police have issued an arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe, wife of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.
South African police have issued an arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe, wife of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.PHOTO: AFP

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - South African police said on Wednesday (Dec 19) an arrest warrant had been issued for Grace Mugabe, wife of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, after she allegedly assaulted a model in Johannesburg in 2017.

"The police investigated and we made an application to the courts and the courts granted a warrant for the arrest... for the assault of Gabriella Engels," police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo told AFP.

The Randburg Magistrates court in Gauteng province issued a warrant of arrest on Dec 13, charging Mugabe with "assault causing grievous bodily harm".

"We are following the Interpol processes, so we applying for assistance to secure her arrest," Naidoo added.

The 53-year-old allegedly beat up Engels using an electrical extension cord at an upmarket hotel in the business district of Sandton where her two sons were staying.

The model suffered cuts to her forehead and the back of her head.

At the time, the government granted Mugabe diplomatic immunity, allowing her to leave South Africa.

 
 

Lobby group AfriForum, which has been pursuing the case on Engel's behalf, welcomed the arrest warrant.

Robert Mugabe, 94, was ousted as president of Zimbabwe in November 2017 after a brief military takeover when generals stepped in to end speculation that he was positioning his wife to succeed him.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said Mugabe has been in Singapore for medical care and is now unable to walk because of ill health and old age.