19 August 2017

Grace Mugabe fails to appear at leaders summit in SA

Grace Mugabe raising her fist during a speech at a rallyImage copyright

Image caption

A “red alert” was set up at the border to stop Mrs Mugabe fleeing South Africa

The wife of the Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe, has failed to appear at the start of a regional leaders summit in South Africa.

Grace Mugabe, 52, is claiming diplomatic immunity after she was accused of assaulting a model last week.

She had been due to take part in the first ladies’ programme at the summit.

The authorities say she remains in South Africa and her request for immunity is under consideration.

Police want to interview Mrs Mugabe about an alleged assault at a hotel in Johannesburg.

She is accused of hitting a 20-year-old woman over the head with an extension cord.

Image copyright

Image caption

Gabriella Engels claims to have been assaulted by Grace Mugabe

Police expected her to turn herself in on Tuesday, but she failed to show up.

They set up a “red alert” at the country’s borders to try to ensure she does not flee the country.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said: “We, in terms of South African police, [have] already put tabs on the borders in relation to her leaving the country, so there is no question about that.

“So tabs have been put, a red alert has been put, so she is not somebody who has been running away.”

The first lady’s whereabouts are not known but she is believed to still be in South Africa.

Mrs Mugabe has not commented on the allegation.

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