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Grace Mugabe Seeking Diplomatic Immunity in South Africa Assault Case

FILE - Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe greets supporters at a rally in Lupane about 170 Kilometres north of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, July 21, 2017.

Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe has requested diplomatic immunity after being accused of assaulting a 20-year-old model, South African police said Wednesday, confirming she had not fled the country.

“The suspect’s lawyers and her government representatives made verbal representations … that the suspect wished to invoke diplomatic immunity cover,” a statement from the police ministry said.

Mrs. Mugabe, who was expected to appear in court on Tuesday to face assault charges laid against her by South African model Gabriella Angels, allegedly committed the offence at a Sandton Hotel where her sons, Robert Junior and Bellamine Chatunga, are staying.

Initial reports indicated that she had fled to Zimbabwe.

A Zimbabwean lawyer, Matshobana Ncube, told VOA Studio 7 that diplomatic immunity is a politically-designed scheme meant to protect foreigners with government links from arrest and public prosecution.

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