10 things we know about the #GraceMugabe saga

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Cape Town – Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe has made headlines worldwide after allegations of assault was brought against her a week ago.

This story has had many developments since the allegations originally surfaced, and is believed to be the reason behind SA and Zimbabwe gounding each other’s planes over the past weekend.
Here are 10 things we know about the Grace Mugabe saga so far:
1. The one who brought the allegations forward was model Gabriella Engels.
According to social media posts by Engels, Grace Mugabe attacked the model with an extension cord after finding her with her two sons.
Engels posted a series of tweets about the alleged assault and posted pictures of the head injuries and bruises on her body.
2. Zimbabwe’s first lady was believed to have been in South Africa apparently to seek medical attention.
3. Grace Mugabe has received diplomatic immunity.
South African authorities on Sunday confirmed that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace has been granted diplomatic immunity.
International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane said that she had “recognised the immunities and privileges” of Grace Mugabe.
Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe with her two sons Robert Jr and Chatunga Bellarmine.
4. Unions and political parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA) and South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) all called on action against the first lady prior to her receiving diplomatic immunity.
5. As the storm raged over the alleged attack, Grace Mugabe flew back to Harare on Saturday evening with her husband, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.
6. Civil society groups and opposition parties are pushing for a review of the decision that was made by SA’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation to grant Mugabe diplomatic immunity.
 
“If the review application is successful (and there are very good grounds to believe it will be) the doors will be open for the National Prosecuting Authrity to prosecute Mrs Mugabe,” said AfriForum chief executive Kallie Kriel.
 
7. AfriForum represented Engels and advocate Gerrie Nel, who secured the murder conviction of Oscar Pistorius, has taken the case.
 
8. Grace Mugabe has claimed that she hit Engels in an act of self-defense.
 
“She is adamant on the issue of protecting herself because she feels she was attacked. She says she was attacked by the victim and that she also has her own injuries which she is not going to publish in the media,” said one source.
 
9. This was not the first time she has been granted diplomatic immunity after an alleged assault abroad.
 
In 2009, the Chinese government gave her diplomatic immunity after she assaulted a journalist in Hong Kong.
 
10. Grace Mugabe is originally from Benoni and her family lived in South Africa until 1970.
 
IOL

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