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South African minister faces inquiry in Grace Mugabe scandal

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Grace Mugabe is accused of assaulting a young model at a hotel in Johannesburg (AP)

Grace Mugabe is accused of assaulting a young model at a hotel in Johannesburg (AP)

Grace Mugabe is accused of assaulting a young model at a hotel in Johannesburg (AP)

The South African foreign minister is to be summoned before a parliamentary committee to explain the decision to grant diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe's first lady, who is accused of assaulting a young model at a Johannesburg hotel.

South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said on Wednesday that parliament's international relations panel will ask Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to explain why Grace Mugabe was allowed to return to Zimbabwe on Sunday despite calls for her prosecution.

The Democratic Alliance said in a statement that a date for Ms Nkoana-Mashabane's appearance before the committee should be scheduled urgently and that "South Africa cannot be treated as a playground for international criminals".

Gabriella Engels, 20, claims that Mrs Mugabe attacked her on August 13, whipping her with an extension cord that cut her forehead.

AP