Zimbabwe's Mugabe arrives South Africa for regional summit

Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe

The Zimbabwean president's wife, Grace Mugabe, has reportedly bought a multi-million pound house in Johannesburg amid an increasingly heated struggle over question marks over the successor to Robert Mugabe.

Section 6.2 of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act 37 of 2001 (amended in 2008) reads: "The Minister [of worldwide relations] must by notice in the Gazette recognise a specific conference or meeting".

Foreign affairs spokesman Clayson Monyela had told AFP on Tuesday that her trip was "a private visit, so government can not get involved". He later said a doctor had found at least nine marks on his face, mouth and below his mouth and chin, and on both temples.

But today Monyela would not comment, saying that the police were handling the matter. "I wish I could assist you, but I really am not in a position to assist you".

Mugabe's immunity request is now under consideration, Clayson Monyela, a spokesman for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation told The Associated Press.

The News24 website quoted Engels' version of events in the hotel room.

"No I can't answer that".

"We know where the suspect is", South Africa's police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo told AFP earlier Wednesday.

Criminal law expert Ulrich Roux also dismissed the idea that diplomatic immunity would apply.

"In other words, a diplomatic trip", explained Roux. Her rapid ascent into Zimbabwean politics began in the president's secretarial pool, and she later took on the mantle of "first shopper" because of her extravagant spending.

The incident is not the first time Mugabe has been accused of assault.

Roux said Grace Mugabe should be subjected to normal processes and be investigated.

The Police Ministry's Vuyo Mhaga says: "As soon as Dirco gives us an indication on the diplomatic immunity, we'll then be able to brief South Africans on what's happening and the police should be able to do their work".

Grace Mugabe, a fierce ally of her husband, comes in the spotlight after Gabriella Engels, 20, took to Twitter to post a picture of a wide gash on her forehead after the said attack which happened in a hotel room in Johannesburg, South Africa, Telegraph writes.

Mugabe, 52, remains in South Africa after a day of intense speculation over her whereabouts, South African police said in a Wednesday statement.

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