Gabriella Engles Assault – Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe, should have apologized to the 20-year-old on his wife’s behalf for assaulting her.
Madonsela asserted that the Zim First Lady had no legal right or a just claim, in the first place, to assault Engles, despite the provocation.
“No amount of provocation entitles you to harm a person. “[It] was appalling for a neighbor to come and assault a [South African] citizen,” she said.
She urged the ANC administration and leaders, in the country to ensure that South Africans citizens are protected at all times, regardless of who harms them.
Nevertheless, Madonsela called on the government to intervene on behalf of Engel’s family by ensuring that the model gets compensation for the assault.
On state capture, she expressed disappointment about government’s reluctance to set a commission of inquiry nine after the report was released.
“We are still sitting here nine months down the line and no commission of inquiry is taking place.”
“If it is true that there is state capture… then by the time we deal with [the] state capture – the rot would have poisoned the greater part of our state tree. Corruption is a crime. It is to be investigated immediately,” she added.
The renowned former Public Protector stated this on Sunday in Sandton while speaking on the sidelines of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies national conference.
The Grace assault scandal, which saw Engles injured after she was hit by Mugabe’s wife, has drawn attention from within and outside South Africa.
On Sunday, Grace Mugabe had claimed that she hit 2 with an extension cord in an act of self-defense, adding that she was, in fact, the victim of the attack that took place at a Sandton hotel on August 13.
In her statement, Engles claimed Mugabe’s bodyguards stood by and watched as she crawled out the room after Mugabe left her with cuts and bruises on her forehead.
Grace Mugabe has now returned to Zimbabwe after the South Africa’s International Relations Department granted her diplomatic Immunity.
A Government Gazette notice, signed by Minister Nkoane-Mashabane on Saturday and published on Sunday indicated that the immunity was granted on Saturday night.
SAPS member Vish Naidoo had announced on Friday that the police provisionally halted an investigation into the matter after they received a note verbale, which indicated that the suspect in the case had applied for diplomatic immunity. The Zimbabwean government reportedly invoked the diplomatic immunity last week.
An activist group, Afriforum and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have vowed to challenge the immunity. While AfriForum stated that it will carry on a review application of the decision, DA said it would summon Police minister, defense ministers, and foreign affairs officials to explain why Grace was freed.
If Grace finally goes scot-free, it will be the second time that Grace Mugabe has used a legal loophole to escape prosecution. In 2009, she was reportedly given diplomatic immunity by the Chinese after she assaulted a journalist in Hong Kong.