PRETORIA — The Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria yesterday entered the fray in the case between First Lady Grace Mugabe and a 20-year-old South African model she allegedly assaulted with an electric cable last month.
Embassy staffer, Advocate Simba Chitando, intervened on behalf of Grace after civil rights group AfriForum‚ representing complainant Gabriella Engels‚ brought an application at the North Gauteng High Court to add the First Lady as a respondent to the case since she does not live in South Africa.
AfriForum wants the court to review the decision by the South African government to grant diplomatic immunity to Grace.
Chitando wanted to know why AfriForum wanted to serve a notice of their application to President Robert Mugabe’s Munhumutapa Offices in Harare.
Adv Etienne Labuschagne SC‚ representing AfriForum‚ said the Presidency is where the President‚ including Grace‚ lives, adding this is the best place to ensure she receives the notice.
Chitando proposed that the notice be served at the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria or in Harare, but AfriForum shot down the proposal, saying the embassy had locus standi.
Judgment was reserved.
Engels has accused Grace of assaulting her and two friends at the Capital West 20 Hotel in Sandton‚ Johannesburg‚ on August 13 after finding her partying with the Zimbabwean leader’s two sons‚ Chatunga and Robert Jnr.
Grace has denied assaulting Engels, claiming the “intoxicated and unhinged” model had attacked her with a knife.
Grace said she had intervened on behalf of her sons, who were “in trouble with a drunken young woman”.