- Title: Victim's mother says Mugabe wife must have a day in court
- Date: 17th August 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) VICTIM'S MOTHER, DEBBIE ENGELS, SAYING: "I really hope that they don't give her (Grace Mugabe) the immunity, I hope a warrant of arrest is issued and that she must have a day in court. She must have a day in court - I want justice for my daughter." ENGELS HOLDING PHONE, LOOKING AT STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF HER DAUGHTER'S INJURIES (SOUNDBITE) (English) VICTIM'S MOTHER, DEBBIE ENGELS, SAYING: "This woman has basically taken my child's income away from her, because I mean at the end of the day her face is what brings in her money. Who's going to book her for shoots and things now with this big scar on her forehead? She's basically lost her income." VARIOUS OF DEBBIE ENGELS LOOKING AT THE PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (English) VICTIM'S MOTHER, DEBBIE ENGELS, SAYING: "I think that if it was somebody else, that person would have already appeared in court already, but she's getting too much leeway." BDK ATTORNEYS LEGAL DIRECTOR, JANNIE KRUGER LOOKING AT A BOOK KRUGER TURNING PAGES OF THE BOOK (SOUNDBITE) (English) BDK ATTORNEYS LEGAL DIRECTOR, JANNIE KRUGER, SAYING: "Ambassadors or whoever cannot go into a country and cause havoc and commit crimes and expect to be excused for that. So it is one of those aspects which the South African government will have to look at, as well as the Zimbabwean government will have to look at."
- Embargoed: 31st August 2017 15:46
- Keywords: Gabriella Engels Debbie Engels Grace Mugabe assault crime diplomatic immunity
- Location: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA / HARARE, ZIMBABWE
- City: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA / HARARE, ZIMBABWE
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA0026UJP8W7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Zimbabwe's first lady, Grace Mugabe can still be arrested for assaulting a 20-year-old model in an upmarket hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, despite diplomatic immunity, says top legal expert.
Jannie Kruger, a legal director at BDK Attorneys, told Reuters that if Mugabe is afforded diplomatic immunity, she can still be sued "in her personal capacity".
Engels' mother Debbie told Reuters her daughter had received 14 stitches on her head from Sunday's (August 13) assault - which the mother did not witness - and demanded Mugabe face justice.
She criticized the urgency at which police have been dealing with the assault case, saying if it was someone else, justice would have been served. She was also worried about the consequences this assault will have on her daughter's modelling career and livelihood.
Police also confirmed that Mugabe, the 52-year-old wife of Zimbabwe's leader Robert, had failed to appear at a court hearing on Tuesday relating to allegations she attacked Gabriella Engels with an electric extension cord.
Reuters has not been able to verify key aspects of the assault allegations independently, and multiple requests for comment from Mugabe's spokesman in Harare and from Information Minister Chris Mushowe went unanswered.
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