In this Dec 16, 2016, file photo, Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe attends a ruling ZANU PF Party Conference in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. (TSVANGIRAYI MUKWAZHI / AP)
JOHANNESBURG — Court documents filed in South Africa say a young woman who accused Zimbabwe's first lady of assault was the aggressor, allegedly attacking Grace Mugabe with a knife while drunk.
The court papers denying any wrongdoing by Mugabe were submitted Aug 17 by Zimbabwean diplomats representing Mugabe, who was granted diplomatic immunity by South Africa despite calls for her prosecution in the alleged attack on the woman in Johannesburg on Aug 13.
The Associated Press obtained the documents on Tuesday from AfriForum, a group representing 20-year-old Gabriella Engels, who said she suffered head wounds while being whipped with an extension cord by Mugabe. AfriForum says it will challenge the South African government over the immunity issue in an attempt to complicate any effort by Mugabe to return to South Africa.
Anti-Mugabe demonstrators protest against Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe, in Pretoria, South Africa, Aug 19, 2017, as tensions rise over allegations that she assaulted a young model at a luxury hotel in Johannesburg last Aug 13, 2017. (PHOTO / AP)