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Africa In The News South Africa

Zimbabwe first lady surrenders to police over alleged hotel assault

Johannesburg – Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe has handed
herself over to South African police after allegedly assaulting a
woman at a Johannesburg hotel, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said

“She is not under arrest, because she cooperates,” Mbalula told the
broadcaster eNCA.

The 52-year-old wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is in
South Arica to seek medical treatment for an ankle injury sustained
in a car accident, the website News24 reported.

The website identified Mugabe’s victim as model Gabriella Engels, 20.
Engels told the website she was visiting Mugabe’s two sons at a hotel
in Johannesburg’s upmarket Sandton neighbourhood late Sunday.

“When Grace entered I had no idea who she was. She walked in with an
extension cord and just started beating me with it,” Engels was
quoted as saying.

The model said Mugabe accused her of living with her sons.

Gauteng province’s top security official Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said
she was “deeply appalled and devastated” by reports that “people of
Grace’s caliber” should exhibit such behaviour.

Nkosi-Malobane’s spokeswoman Busaphi Nxumalo forwarded to dpa
photographs of a young woman with a severe head wound, saying she was
the one Mugabe had attacked.

Reports said diplomatic immunity would not protect Mugabe, because
she was in South Africa privately. Mbalula said she would soon appear
in court.

Grace Mugabe is tipped as one of the likely successors to her
husband, 93, who has ruled the southern African country since 1980.


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