South Africa is planning to grant diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe.
This will allow her to return to Harare and avoid prosecution for the alleged assault of a 20-year-old model, a government source said on Friday.
South African police have put border posts on “red alert” to prevent Grace fleeing and said she will not receive special treatment, after Gabriella Engels accused her of whipping her with an electric extension cable.
But a senior government source said there was “no way” Grace, 52, would be arrested because South Africa would weigh the need to seek justice against the diplomatic fallout.
“There would obviously be implications for our relations with Zimbabwe. Sadly the other countries in the region are watching us and how we are going to act,” the source said, asking not to be named.
“What is likely to happen is that she will be allowed to go back home, and then we announce that we’ve granted diplomatic immunity and wait for somebody to challenge us.”