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'We won't arrest Grace Mugabe until we receive indication from Dirco'

President Robert Mugabe landed at Waterkloof Airforce Base last night; he’s expected to intervene on the matter.

FILE: Former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe.  Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The Police Ministry says it will not be arresting Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe until it receives an indication from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco).

Mugabe is accused of assaulting 20-year-old Gabriella Engels at a Sandton hotel at the weekend.

She’s invoked diplomatic immunity and is now awaiting a response from Dirco.

President Robert Mugabe landed at Waterkloof Airforce Base on Wednesday night and he’s expected to intervene on the matter.

The Police Ministry’s Vuyo Mhaga says: “As soon as Dirco gives us an indication on the diplomatic immunity, we’ll then be able to brief South Africans on what’s happening and the police should be able to do their work.”

At the same time, Dirco has confirmed it’s received correspondence from the Zimbabwean government invoking diplomatic immunity for first lady.

The exact whereabouts and the progress of the case against Mugabe have not been revealed amid speculation that President Jacob Zuma and his counterpart Mugabe may be holding discussions.

Her lawyers told authorities on Tuesday that she wished to invoke diplomatic immunity relating to the assault case against her and that’s why she failed to hand herself over.

Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela says the department has been in contact with the Zimbabwean government.

If immunity is granted, this will mark the second time Mugabe gets diplomatic protection over an assault case.

She allegedly assaulted a British photographer in Hong Kong in 1999, but no charges were brought against her.

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