Grace Mugabe immunity case: AfriForum opposes Zim High Commission’s involvement

AfriForum says the Zimbabwe High Commission does not have the legal authority to join the matter at this stage.

Debbie and her daughter Gabriela Engels at the Pretoria High Court appear for an interlocutory application seeking permission to serve papers to Grace Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Gabriela was allegedly assaulted by the Zimbabwean first lady in a Sandton Hotel last month. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

PRETORIA - Lobby group AfriForum has opposed attempts by the Zimbabwe High Commission to intervene in its application to challenge the decision granting diplomatic immunity to Grace Mugabe.

The wife of Zimbabwe’s president is accused of assaulting South African model Gabriella Engels in a Sandton hotel room in August.

While Mugabe was scheduled to appear in court after the incident, she left the country and was granted immunity from prosecution by the South African government.

AfriForum has told the High Court that the Zimbabwe High Commission does not have the legal authority to join the matter at this stage.

AfriForum argues that the high commission’s intervention is premature because they’re merely seeking the right to include Mugabe as a party, and to be able to serve a summons on her while she's not in the country.

The organisation says it’s a matter between themselves and the court and no party has the right to oppose.

The court has given AfriForum until 11 October to submit further reasons why the High Commission may not intervene.

Judgment has been reserved.

WATCH: Engels and AfriForum lobby for Grace Mugabe's prosecution