South Africa has granted diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe, allowing her to return to Harare and avoid prosecution for the alleged assault of a 20-year-old model, a security source said.
South African police had put border posts on ‘red alert’ to prevent Mugabe fleeing and indicated she would receive no special treatment in the case involving Gabriella Engels, who says Mugabe whipped her with an electric extension cable.
A security source, however, said immunity had been granted.
The country has a difficult relationship with its northern neighbour.
The victim’s mother, who released photographs of her daughter with gashes to her head requiring 14 stitches, said it would be “very sad” if Grace Mugabe was allowed to leave.
However, her daughter’s legal team which includes Gerrie Nel, the prosecutor who secured a murder conviction against Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius would counter such a move, she said.