DA: Grace Mugabe must hand over passports as she remains a massive flight risk
Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe is accused of attacking Gabriella Engels at a Sandton hotel on Sunday and has since invoked diplomatic immunity.
JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe must hand over all her passports to the South African government on Friday as a sign of good faith to ensure that she doesn’t flee the country.
Mugabe is accused of attacking Gabriella Engels at a Sandton hotel on Sunday and has since invoked diplomatic immunity.
The opposition party is accusing police, the International Relations Department and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of playing diplomatic games.
LISTEN: ‘I was attacked, assaulted by Grace Mugabe’
It says Mugabe remains a massive flight risk and doesn’t qualify for diplomatic immunity.
DA shadow police minister Zakhele Mbhele said: “We believe this is a prudence risk mitigation measure, given that she is a flight risk. And we’ve already had one instance of non-cooperation with the police when she failed to appear before the court as she was meant to do earlier on this week.”
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Lobby group AfriForum says it will oppose the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) if it grants Mugabe diplomatic immunity following assault allegations against her.
AfriForum says it will give the state three months to prosecute before it intervenes.
Debbie Engels, Gabriella’s mother, says she’s grateful for the legal team at AfriForum, which includes advocate Gerrie Nel.
AfriForum says they expect the trial to begin in the next three months.
Debbie says she’s glad they’re not alone.
AfriForum has also refuted speculation that Gabriella and Mugabe's sons were using drugs on the day she was beaten.
AfriForum’s Kallie Kriel says it was the first time that Engels had met the Mugabe sons.
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Additional reporting by Hitekani Magwedze.
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)