Gabriella Engels Photo: Supplied
While the world waited to hear what is to become of former Zimbabwe first lady Grace Mugabe’s diplomatic immunity saga, Gabriella Engels, the model she allegedly assaulted, has graduated, and has her eyes set on the film production industry.

Mugabe was accused of assaulting Engels, now 21, at a luxury hotel in Sandton last year.

The high court in Joburg this week set aside the decision to grant Mugabe diplomatic immunity by former international relations and co-operation minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

When handing down judgment, Judge Bashier Vally said granting the former first lady immunity was unlawful and unconstitutional.

“I conclude that Dr Mugabe is not immune from the jurisdiction of our courts and the minister’s decision to ‘recognise’ or ‘confer’ immunity upon her was unconstitutional and unlawful,” read Judge Vally’s judgment.

Engels told the Cape Times yesterday that she graduated with a qualification in make-up artistry, and planned to use the networks she acquired while modelling to go into the film production industry.

“I have always been passionate about make-up, and I loved getting to learn about the finer details. I am focused on getting the court case over and done, so that I can do what I love,” Engels said.

She said wherever she goes she still gets questioned about the incident. “I want to move forward with my artistry,” she said.

Face to Face Beauty & Make-up Design School in Parktown, Joburg, offered Engels the bursary, which was valued at about R35000.

Angela Botha, from Kommetjie, acted as a link between the beauty school’s principal Shirley Wenman and Engels’s legal representatives.

Botha had posted a message of support for Engels on a Facebook community group soon after the incident, which Wenman saw.

The women soon interacted on the post and Wenman asked Botha to liaise with AfriForum, which Botha said she did.

AfriForum yesterday said: “Gabriella enjoyed each moment at the beauty school. It was always a dream for her to attend beauty school and amazing people made it possible for her.”

Wenman said Engels was the perfect student. “I would highly recommend Gabriella.”

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