Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe's lawyers and South African authorities appear to be holding discussions with Zimbabwean authorities over claims by South African model Gabriella Engels that she was attacked by Mrs. Mugabe while socializing with her sons, Chatunga and Robert Junior, at a Sandton hotel in Johannesburg. VOA Studio's Blessing Zulu reached South African police spokesperson Vish Naidoo for more details about the assault case and efforts being made to ensure that the law takes its course. Below is a transcript of an interview conducted by Zulu on Wednesday.
Question (Blessing Zulu): I’m making a follow up about the Zimbabwean first lady … if any warrant of arrest was ever issued by South Africa.
Answer (Vish Naidoo): Why would you ask me that? Why would you ask me if a warrant was issued for the first lady Grace?
Question: Because there are these allegations against her and there were reports that she was expected to appear in court yesterday.
Answer: Said who? Who said that there are allegations against Grace because in all my communication I have never named a suspect … Here in South Africa we don’t name a suspect until they appear in court.
Question: OK but is there any warrant of arrest as we have heard or this is not true?
Answer: No, it’s not true. Regarding the suspect in the assault case we have not issued a warrant of arrest. I’m not aware of that.
Question: But is she still in South Africa, do you know?
Answer: Who is still in South Africa?
Question: The suspect …
Answer: Why would you ask a question like that? We don’t know. Don’t you know who the suspect is?
Question: There are reports that it’s the first lady but you are saying you can’t name the suspect.
Answer: We haven’t heard those reports, I guess you can ask them that question. But where I am concerned … the status of the suspect I’m not in a position to communicate that because I don’t think there is a suspect named.
Question: But was there a meeting between the police and the suspect.
Answer: No, there was no meeting. There was supposed to be a meeting but it didn’t materialize.
Question: What was the reason?
Answer: I don’t know … We don’t know … We didn’t get the reason.