- Debbie Engels has praised the ruling which could see Grace Mugabe face a court of law for allegedly assaulting her daughter Gabriella Engels
- Debbie said the ruling proved that no one was above the law
- She said regardless of whether the matter ever went to trial she was proud of her daughter for standing up against seemingly unbeatable odds and for giving others the courage to stand up for themselves
Debbie Engels has praised the High Court ruling which overturned the government’s granting of immunity to Grace Mugabe. The ruling could see Mugabe face a court of law for allegedly assaulting Gabriella Engels.
Debbie said the ruling proved that no one was above the law. Debbie added that regardless of what the future holds and whether or not Grace ever faced the inside of a courtroom she was proud of her daughter Gabriella.
Debbie said Gabriella had stood up for herself against seemingly unbeatable odds and this courage had given others the courage to stand up for themselves. Debbie said not many people would have had the courage to do what her daughter had done.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Debbie and Gabriella initially followed the court proceedings via social media but when it became clear that the court had ruled in their favour they had watched it on TV.
Debbie said once they realised exactly what had happened they were elated and started jumping up and down in their home like little children. TimesLive.co.za reported that despite the victory Gabriella was still not comfortable with the idea of speaking to the media.
Debbie was asked whether Gabriella would be ready to come face to face with Mugabe in court and would provide testimony if the matter ever went that far. Debbie said her daughter had not really thought about that much and would cross that bridge if and when the time came.
Gabriella initially faced a backlash on social media for making the allegations against Mugabe and according to Debbie has had to learn how to ignore some quarters of social media.
Debbie added that in the months since the incident occurred and despite some ugly comments her daughter had actually been inundated with messages of support and love. Debbie said the support from ordinary Zimbabweans was particularly amazing.
Gabriella shot into the headlines last August when she accused the then Zimbabwean first lady of assaulting her with an electrical cord in a Sandton hotel room.
The incident nearly sparked a diplomatic row between South Africa and Zimbabwe but the South African government quickly moved to grant immunity to Mugabe. This immunity has now been set aside.
Gabriella has on numerous occasions claimed that representatives of Mugabe had offered her large sums of money in exchange for her dropping the charges and retracting the allegations.
Debbie said she was extremely proud of her daughter for not taking the money and turning her back on the matter as so many other people would have done.
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