- Title: Victim's mother says Mugabe wife must have a day in court
- Date: 17th August 2017
- Summary: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (AUGUST 17, 2017) (REUTERS) VICTIM'S MOTHER, DEBBIE ENGELS LOOKING AT PHONE DEBBIE ENGELS SCROLLING THROUGH STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF HER DAUGHTER, GABRIELLA ENGELS' INJURIES ON THE PHONE
- 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: LVA0016UJP8W7
- 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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