The Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa today withdrew from First Lady Grace Mugabe’s case in which she is accused of assaulting a South African model Gabriella Engels after its lawyer received death threats from unnamed sources.
The lawyer, Simba Chitando, made the announcement after Judge Harshila Koovertjie gave the embassy seven days to state whether it is representing Grace Mugabe or not.
Chitando told the media: "I have received instructions from consul general of the Zimbabwean embassy which reads: 'I have read the memorandum by Adv Chitando our counsel of record and have personally seen various threats made against him while representing the Zimbabwean embassy.'
"The conducts of various individuals in this matter has made the Zimbabwean embassy and its future involvement in this matter undesirable.
"The Zimbabwean embassy, regardless of the outcome of the proceeding, shall no longer participate in these hearings.”
Afriforum, which is representing Engels, accused the embassy of using delaying tactics to frustrate the case.
The judge also ruled that the case will now be heard in a different court.
Grace Mugabe had to be granted diplomatic immunity to leave South Africa and did not travel to Pretoria with her husband this week.
She says Engels attacked her first and she only fought back to protect her children.