South African police have been negotiating with Mrs. Grace Mugabe’s lawyers to get her to turn herself in to face charges of assault, a senior police source said. Model Gabriella Engels, 22, told South African media Mrs. Mugabe had attacked her after the model had gone to see Mr Mugabes’ sons Robert and Chatunga at a hotel in Johannesburg’s Sandton district on Sunday.
South African police minister Fikile Mbalula said on arresting Grace Mugabe: “All those implications will be taken into consideration … She will be charged.”
“We were chilling in a hotel room, and [the sons] were in the room next door. She came in and started hitting us,”
Engels told local media. The News24 website quoted Ms Engels’ version of events in the hotel room.
“When Grace entered, I had no idea who she was. She walked in with an extension cord and just started beating me with it,” the model said. “I am a model, with this scar over my face my whole career is ruined,” she said. “She just completely lost it. I was hit all over my body. I have bruises all over my body … I have two open wounds at the back of my head as well.”
Police confirmed a 20-year-old woman had filed “a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm”.
It’s not the first time Grace has been accused of assaulting someone. In 2009, a press photographer in Hong Kong said Ms Grace and her bodyguard had assaulted him. Police there said the incident was reported but that no charges were brought. Both Mugabe’s sons were kicked out of the Regent luxury apartment complex in Sandton last month after an incident in the middle of the night, staff at the complex told Reuters.
Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Grace Mugabe, returned home on Tuesday from South Africa after failing to turn herself in to police in Johannesburg to face charges of assaulting a model in a hotel room. A senior Zimbabwean government official said late on Tuesday that she had returned to the capital Harare, although there was no comment from Mrs. Grace herself.