I just want justice, says woman who claims Grace Mugabe hit her
Gabriella Engels claims she was beaten with an extension cord while visiting Mugabe's sons at a Sandton hotel on Sunday.
JOHANNESBURG - As police scramble to confirm the whereabouts of Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe, the woman who laid a charge of assault against her says she isn't surprised that the Zimbabwean first lady did not hand herself to police as agreed.
Gabriella Engels says it was agreed that they would meet with police on Tuesday morning but Mugabe didn't arrive.
Engels claims she was beaten with an extension cord while visiting Mugabe's sons at a Sandton hotel on Sunday.
Engels says she fears that Mugabe may flee the country and she will not get justice.
“I don’t know how far this case is going to go but I just really want justice because what she did really was not right. I want her to do time in jail for what she did to me, it’s not right.”
Engels says she is still traumatised by the assault and the process of opening a case against the first lady of a country.
“Because I’m so scared to walk out of the house. I don’t know if there might be people walking around looking for me.”
The 20-year old model says she wants Mugabe not to receive preferential treatment.
SCARED TO LAY CHARGES
Engels says at first she didn't want to open a case against Mugabe.
“They were telling me that I am going to pay for this, these people are dangerous and stuff, so I got a bit scared and I didn’t want to lay charges but my mother told me that I really have to.”
Engels says so far, she has not been intimidated by any official or asked to drop the case.
“No, the only thing that I received was on Twitter when Zanu-PF made a tweet telling people to be careful of me.”
She is recovering at home with stitches to her head.
LISTEN: ‘I was attacked, assaulted by Grace Mugabe’
MEETING OF LAW ENFORCEMENT
Meanwhile, a meeting between law enforcement officers and lawyers for Mugabe was underway at the Sandton police station.
Earlier, it was understood police were preparing a warrant for arrest for Mugabe.
As questions swirl around the Mugabe’s whereabouts, EWN understands the senior prosecutor assigned to the assault case against her has left the Randburg Magistrates Court.
Dockets that are sent to the Randburg Magistrates Court arrive on Yusuf Baba's desk as a senior prosecutor.
EWN spoke to him as he was leaving the court and he confirmed that he has not received the docket from the police on Mugabe.
But if the first lady gets arrested or hands herself over on Tuesday, the senior prosecutor and the leading investigating officer can agree on a bail out of court for Mugabe or the police and submit the docket to the National Prosecuting Authority and then approach the high court on an urgent matter.
NO WARRANT OF ARREST
The police say no warrant of arrest has been issued or applied for in the case against the Zimbabwean first lady.
Earlier, police said they were drawing up the papers following the first lady's failure to hand herself over to police on assault charges.
The police's Vishnu Naidoo has remained mum about what the negotiations between themselves and Mugabe's legal team entailed.
The representatives had been in a meeting at the Sandton police station to find another agreement since Mugabe failed to meet the initial one.
Despite reports that the police were moving to issue a warrant of arrest, Naidoo says investigations continue.
“There’s no warrant of arrest that was issued. There’s no warrant of arrest that’s been applied for as I’m standing here now and speaking to you. At 10 o’ clock the suspect was supposed to have handed herself over. That was the agreement in a negotiation that had taken place, but that didn’t materialise.”
He says the announcement by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula that the first lady had already handed herself over was because he was under the impression that she was going to.
'MUGABE SHOULD NOT BE GRANTED DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY'
Gary Eisenberg, an immigration attorney says Mugabe should not be granted diplomatic immunity because she was not in South Africa on an official visit.
Mugabe was reportedly in the country for medical treatment after she injured her foot.
Eisenberg says she was not here in her capacity as Zimbabwe's first lady.
“She wasn’t coming into SA for official business, which means that she is not immune to prosecution. We’ll wait until the NPA makes a statement after looking at the magical docket that has failed to appear.”
'HISTORY OF VIOLENCE'
The Communist party of Zimbabwe was outside the Randburg Magistrates Court and its general secretary Nicholas Mabena says they want justice for the woman who was allegedly assaulted by Grace Mugabe.
"So our call to the courts in South Africa and to everyone else is that justice must take its course."
He says as Zimbabweans they are not surprised about her behaviour.
"Well, in Zimbabwe we call her 'Dr Stop It'. She is a violent person in nature. You know what she did in Dubai when she assaulted journalists. She has a record of assaulting individuals."