GRACE Mugabe‚ the wife of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe was due to appear in a Johannesburg court today to answer a charge that she assaulted a 20 year old South African woman at the Capital 20 West hotel in Sandton on Sunday night.
Police sources in South Africa said the complainant, Gabriella Engels, alleged that she was assaulted by Grace when she found her in the company of her two sons in their hotel room.
Speaking to the press, Engels who works as a model said she and two friends were assaulted by Mugabe’s wife at around 9pm on Sunday night after they went to visit the Zimbabwean president’s two sons.
“We were chilling in a hotel room‚ and they were in the room next door‚” Engels said.
“She (Grace) flipped and just kept beating me with the plug.” Engels told the press. “Over and over. I had no idea what was going on. I was surprised… I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away.”
She further alleged that the deep gash in her forehead and scalp were caused by an extension chord with which Grace struck her while her two sons ran away and her bodyguards looked on.
South Africa’s Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said Grace was due to appear in court today as part of the due process in law.
“The law is about ensuring that everybody is protected,” Mbalula said. “In terms of foreign citizens they must understand their responsibility, especially those who hold diplomatic passports. I cannot just go to Zimbabwe and beat up people there and then hope the matter will disappear. From the police side we have had to act in the interest of the victims who have opened the case.”
Meanwhile, a Zanu PF’s twitter account has denied the allegations against Zimbabwe’s first lady, saying Grace is the one that was attacked when she tried to rescue her sons.
Clayson Monyela a spokesman for South Africa’s department of International Relations said Grace is not eligible for diplomatic immunity in this case because she was in South Africa for medical treatment and not official business.
South African criminal law expert Ulrich Roux also dismissed the idea that diplomatic immunity would apply in Grace’s case. He said a president or their spouse was just another foreign citizen.
- Latest online gossip have cast doubts on Grace Mugabe’s whereabouts following reports that she failed to appear in a Johannesburg court over the assault case.