Zimbabwe says it will not extradite Grace Mugabe over assault
We will not allow her ‘to be harassed, embarrassed or ill-treated’, says the country’s deputy information minister
Harare — Zimbabwe said on Friday that it would not extradite Grace Mugabe, wife of former president Robert Mugabe, after an arrest warrant was issued in SA for her alleged assault of a model in 2017.
Mugabe reportedly attacked Gabrielle Engels using an electrical extension cord at an upmarket hotel in Sandton where the Mugabes’ two sons were staying.
“We will not smile at something like that, for her to be harassed, embarrassed or ill-treated,” deputy information minister Energy Mutodi told AFP. “This incident happened when she was in office and she was granted diplomatic immunity. They can’t now come back and say they want to prosecute her. We are not going to support any extradition.”
The Randburg magistrates court in Gauteng issued the warrant of arrest on December 13, charging Mugabe with “assault causing grievous bodily harm”. South African police say theystill hope to arrest her, without giving further details.
Engels suffered cuts to her forehead and the back of her head in the incident.
At the time, the government granted Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity, allowing her to hurriedly leave SA. A court scrapped the immunity in July, labeling the decision by the department of international relations and co-operation as “inconsistent with the constitution”.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Robert Mugabe’s former deputy, recently revealed Robert had been in Singapore for medical care is was now unable to walk because of ill health and old age. The couple’s whereabouts are unknown.
Grace, a regular visitor to SA, earned the nickname “Gucci Grace” for her lavish lifestyle as Zimbabwe’s economy collapsed under her husband’s authoritarian rule.