Thousands of Zimbabwe ruling party supporters held a counter protest in the capital Harare to support first lady Grace Mugabe who escaped charges of assault in South Africa where she was granted diplomatic immunity.
The key Zanu PF member is accused of attacking 20-year-old South African model Gabriella Engels in a Johannesburg hotel on August 13 for being in the company of her son.
An estimated 3,000 people gathered in Harare carrying placards with messages supporting the first lady while others expressed displeasure at the pursuance of the prosecution by the model and civic activist group Afriforum which has given legal backing to Gabriella Engels.
#Zimbabwe supporters of Grace Mugabe attending her rally in Harare pic.twitter.com/rcHVJ5AtCg— Reagan Mashavave (@ReaganMashavave) August 30, 2017
Hours before the solidarity rally, Zimbabwean police stopped an opposition demonstration against South Africa’s decision to let Grace Mugabe off the hook by granting her diplomatic immunity.
They were denied permission to protest and spokesperson for the opposition coalition Davis Junior Mukushwa told the media that “Zimbabweans feel betrayed by the South African justice system for not preferring charges against Grace Mugabe”.
Afriforum say they have filed court papers challenging the government’s decision to grant Mrs Mugabe diplomatic immunity.