Grace Mugabe attends a press conference addressed by former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe at their residence in Harare at the weekend. Picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

Johannesburg - The Johannesburg High Court is due to deliver judgment today on the Democratic Alliance's application to have the diplomatic immunity granted to Zimbabwe's former first lady Grace Mugabe set aside.

The case stems from an incident at a Sandton hotel where Grace Mugabe allegedly assaulted South African model Gabriella Engels after finding her in the company of Mugabe's sons Robert Jr and Chatunga Bellarmine. The young men were also reportedly beaten by their mother who insists she hit Engels in self-defence.

In May, Advocate Hilton Epstein, SC representing the department of international relations and cooperation argued that the South African government did not grant diplomatic immunity to Mugabe, but only recognised it after the 2017 assault charge. Epstein argued that the department had not conferred diplomatic status on Mugabe, but that the department of international relations and cooperation had only upheld the fact of existing immunity for then Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe's spouse.

This is not the first time Mugabe has been granted diplomatic immunity after an alleged assault abroad. In 2009, the Chinese government gave her diplomatic immunity after she assaulted a journalist in Hong Kong.