A right-wing Afrikaaner rights group has taken on the case of a 20-year-old South African woman who was allegedly assaulted by Zimbabwe First Lady Grace Mugabe after she was found at a hotel with her two sons and has vowed to make sure that Grace is prosecuted.
Afriforum, through Advocate Gerrie Nel, head of its Private Prosecuting Unit, today said it could support Gabriella Engels to make sure that Grace Mugabe is prosecuted for assaulting her.
According to its own website, “AfriForum is a non-governmental organisation, registered as a non-profit company, with the aim of protecting the rights of minorities”.
It says: “While the organisation functions on the internationally recognised principle of the protection of minorities, AfriForum has a specific focus on the rights of Afrikaners as a community living on the southern tip of the continent.”
Adv. Nel will monitor how the South African Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority handle the case against Zimbabwe’s First Lady and will institute private prosecution should they fail to prosecute her.
If Grace is offered diplomatic immunity, Afriforum says it will fight this at the highest court.
Engels who was with her mother when the announcement was made said: “One feels powerless if you are the victim of violence by a person like Mrs Mugabe, who occupies a position of power. It is comforting that people like Adv. Nel and AfriForum is prepared to see to it that justice prevails.”
Nel said: “No one, not even Mrs Grace Mugabe, must be allowed to bypass the law as a result of their position of power.”
Nel said a third party offered the Engels money as settlement to drop the case but they turned it down.
He did not disclose the figure.
Afriforum CEO Kallie Kriel said the Engels were offered a blank cheque.