Grace Mugabe seeks immunity in S Africa assault case

Ms Engels claim Mrs Mugabe beat her in front of more than ten bodyguards

Ms Engels claim Mrs Mugabe beat her in front of more than ten bodyguards

Speaking to reporters in Pretoria on Thursday, Mbalula said: "We have already put tabs in the borders in relation to her leaving the country so there is no question about that".

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Reports also indicate that she is still in South Africa despite earlier indications that she had returned to Zimbabwe. A response from the Zimbabwean consulate in Johannesburg was not forthcoming as they are gagged. "It had been on the market for some time, but was transferred in May this year", said a Joburg North property expert, who asked The Star to not name them.

It is unclear whether Grace Mugabe entered South Africa in a personal or an official capacity, which could impact her immunity appeal.

Amid confusion over the case and investigation, police say the abortive court hearing was meant to obtain a statement from Mugabe.

Facile Mbalula earlier informed global and local reporters that 52-year-old Grace Mugabe, considered a possible successor to her husband, 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe is a good person and has been cooperating with police.

A police police statement issued on Wednesday said Harare had sought diplomatic immunity for Mugabe - which if granted would exempt her from prosecution - but said she would be "processed through the legal system".

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Police initially claimed Mugabe had turned herself before revealing that she had not.

"We were chilling in a hotel room, and [the sons] were in the room next door".

"She split my head open in 3 places with an extension cord and used the plug to hit me", she added in another tweet.

Gerrie Nel, who prosecuted Oscar Pistorius and now works for Afriforum, has joined forces with Grace Mugabe's alleged victim of assault, Gabriella Engels.

Gabriella Engels, 20, told South African media Grace had attacked her after the model had gone to see the Mugabes' sons Robert and Chatunga at a hotel on Sunday.

In 2009, a newspaper photographer in Hong Kong said she and her bodyguard had assaulted him.

"I don't know much about the case but it really shouldn't affect our relationship with Zimbabwe", he told News24. "I was surprised. I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away".

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