By Toby Prince
Zimbabwe authorities have said that Grace Mugabe, wife of former president Robert Mugabe would not be extradited after an arrest warrant was issued in South Africa for her alleged assault of a model in 2017.
The 53-year-old reportedly attacked model Gabrielle Engels using an electrical extension cord at an upmarket hotel in Johannesburg’s business district of 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 now and say they want to prosecute her. We are not going to support any extradition,” Mr Mutodi said.
Ms Engels, now 21, suffered cuts to her forehead and the back of her head in the incident.
At the time of the incident, the government granted Mrs Mugabe diplomatic immunity, allowing her to hurriedly leave South Africa.
A court scrapped the immunity in July, labelling the decision by the foreign ministry as “inconsistent with the constitution.”
Robert Mugabe was ousted as president in November 2017 after a military takeover when generals stepped in to ensure that his wife was not in line to succeed him.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his former deputy, recently revealed Mugabe had been in Singapore for medical care and was now unable to walk because of ill health and old age.