Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe has been granted diplomatic immunity by South Africa and returned home Sunday notwithstanding the calls for her prosecution.
Mrs. Mugabe is alleged to have assaulted a 20-year-old model, Gabriella Engels, with an electrical cord on August 13 at a Johannesburg hotel.
Mugabe applied for diplomatic immunity on Wednesday and South Africa’s Foreign Secretary, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, granted her immunity on Saturday, according to a government gazette notice.
Zimbabwean opposition described her as a “thug and violent person who committed a heinous assault on an innocent young woman.”
“Whatever is legally possible should be done to ensure that she faces the full wrath of the law. There should be no immunity,” MDC spokesperson, Obert Gutu told AFP.
Grace Mugabe has been hidden since allegations were made and declined to appear at the summit. Her husband, 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe was at the Southern African Community Development summit.
The South African opposition are comparing the handling of the Mugabe case to the country’s failure to arrest the Sudanese leader, Omar Al-Bashir.
Grace Mugabe is known for her fiery temper and anticipating her arrival, activists in Harare welcomed her waving placards reading “Grace is a disgrace.”
She is seen as the heir to the presidency. She had claimed immunity in 2009 for punching a British photographer for taking photos of her.