The SAPS Is No Longer Investigating Grace Mugabe's Assault Case

South Africa Puts A 'Red Alert' At Its Borders For Zimbabwe's Grace Mugabe

South Africa Puts A 'Red Alert' At Its Borders For Zimbabwe's Grace Mugabe

On Friday, the state-owned Airports Co. of South Africa blocked an evening Air Zimbabwe flight to Harare after authorities asked for the airline's foreign operators permit.

South African media quoted DIRCO spokesman, Clayson Monyela, saying Grace could not claim diplomatic immunity if she was in the country on personal business.

The first lady claimed immunity after allegedly whipping Gabriella Engels with an electrical extension cord at a Johannesburg hotel where Mugabe's two sons, both in their 20s, were staying.

Police want to interview Mrs Mugabe about an alleged assault at a hotel in Johannesburg.

"We had already put tabs on the borders, in relation to her leaving the country, so there's no question about that", he said.

Mbhele added 'needs to do his job and ensure she is arrested and has her day in court to answer the serious charges against her'.

Engels has posted a photo on Twitter of a nasty gash to her forehead and expressed concern that it could affect her modeling career.

Gerrie Nel - the prosecutor seen by millions around the world in the Oscar Pistorius case - spoke to the media. "It's about justice", he said.

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Though Grace Mugabe has been lampooned by critics in the past for shopping expeditions and a doctorate obtained under questionable circumstances, she has built a serious if polarizing political profile with charity work and frequent rallies in recent years.

"Sadly the other countries in the region are watching us and how we are going to act".

Willie Spies, another lawyer with AfriForum, said: "Should an erroneous decision be made to grant diplomatic immunity in this case then we would consider bringing an urgent application to the high court". "We are waiting the outcome before we can move on to the next step".

The matter has escalated to a diplomatic incident between Zimbabwe and its main trading partner, South Africa, adding to already frayed economic relations over import restrictions imposed by Harare a year ago. He vowed to pursue private prosecution if the National Prosecuting Authority "fail to prosecute Mrs. Mugabe without good cause".

Requests for comment from Zimbabwean government officials have gone unanswered.

Mugabe has not commented on the allegations. Zimbabwe's ambassador to Pretoria, Isaac Moyo, did not answer his phone.

Afriforum, an Afrikaans rights group that Nel joined in January after quitting as a state prosecutor, said it would be illegal for Pretoria to give Mugabe immunity and branded the plans a "disgrace".