Gabriella Engels is pushing to have Grace Mugabe handed over to South African authorities for prosecution.
The 20-year-old South African model alleges that Zimbabwe’s former first lady assaulted her in August last year.
According to Engels, Mugabe attacked her with an electrical cord after finding her in a hotel room at the Capital 20 West in Sandton being rented by Mugabe’s sons, Chatunga and Robert Mugabe, Jr.
Pictures of Engels’s injuries, including a deep cut to her forehead, were widely circulated on social media last year, leading to outrage and calls for Mugabe’s arrest.
Engels laid charges against Mugabe, but the former first lady avoided arrest and prosecution after the South African government granted her diplomatic immunity.
Last week, new Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that Grace Mugabe is no longer protected by diplomatic immunity.
Engels’s mother, Debbie Engels, said that in light of these developments, her family has renewed their attempts to secure justice and are appealing to Mnangagwa to “do the right thing”.
However, it’s unclear whether this appeal will have much success. Mnangagwa said that although his government had not granted immunity to Robert Mugabe and his wife, his government would “do everything possible to make sure the family lives in peace, undisturbed”.