Grace period in Mugabe assault case

Grace period in Mugabe assault case”

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe (C) smiles during the official opening of the Fifth Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe in Harare, Zimbabwe, 12 September 2017.

This comes after the Zimbabwe embassy's legal team told the court it was withdrawing from the matter because its staff had received threats.

This is following the incident in which Mugabe allegedly assaulted Engels using an electrical extension cord in a Sandton hotel in August.

The High Court in Pretoria was expected to rule on an application to cite Mugabe in an application to review her diplomatic immunity, but due to the embassy's intervention, the matter was referred to another court.

"The conduct of various individuals in this matter has made the Zimbabwean embassy's future involvement in this matter undesirable".

"The Zimbabwean embassy, regardless of the outcome of the proceeding, shall no longer participate in these hearings", said Chitando on Friday.

AfriForum's Willie Spies said essentially, there was no order granted with regards to the arguments that were brought before the court on September 19.

Chitando said AfriForum did not follow the legal procedure to serve a notice overseas and they should have first established Grace's address.

Mugabe, however, disputed this, and claimed that Engels had threated her with a knife. That is absolute nonsense and I think that it is just an effort to taint the process and to put them in a position to attack the process later and I can not believe that it is possible.

AfriForum is expected to re-enroll the matter on the unopposed motional roll.

"The mere involvement of the embassy from the onset was to frustrate and delay the process to ensure that justice is delayed".

The civil rights group AfriForum‚ acting on behalf of Gabriella Engels‚ brought an application at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to add Mugabe as a respondent to the case. Engels and her friends were visiting Mugabe's sons‚ Chatunga and Robert jnr.

Mugabe said she had intervened on behalf of her sons who were "in trouble with a drunken young woman".

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