Grace Mugabe Zimbabwe blocks South African airways flights amid scandal

This move is coming following the grounding of an Air Zimbabwe flight at Johannesburg's main international airport on Friday, August 18, 2017.

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A South African airline play

A South African airline

(Al Jazeera)
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Zimbabwe has reportedly blocked South African airlines flights amid tensions over allegations that Zimbabwe's first lady, Grace Mugabe, assaulted a young model in Johannesburg.

According to a report by Al Jazeera, the South Africa's government-owned airline was not allowed to take off from Zimbabwe's Harare airport for a trip to Johannesburg on Saturday, August 19, 2017.

It was further reported that another flight from Johannesburg to Harare was also cancelled but authorities in Zimbabwe said the planes were blocked for failing to comply with civil aviation rules.

This move is coming following the grounding of an Air Zimbabwe flight at Johannesburg's main international airport on Friday, August 18, 2017.

However, the South African government as well as the Zimbabwean government have said the restrictions were imposed because the planes did not have "foreign operator's permit".

A South African Airways spokesman said officials had asked to see certain documents that had not been requested in two decades.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe's first lady claims diplomatic immunity in assault case

The seeming hostility is coming as Zimbabwe's first lady, Grace Mugabe, faces allegations of assaulting a young South African female model at a luxury hotel in Johannesburg. 

20-year-old Gabriella Engels accused Grace Mugabe of barging into a hotel room where Engels was waiting to meet one of Mugabe's sons on Sunday and whipping her with an extension cord.

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