Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe believed to have assaulted a model, Gabriella Engels in Johannesburg has vehemently refused to hand herself over to the police as speculated by a South African police spokesman.
The police were negotiating with Grace Mugabe's lawyers on Tuesday to get the wife of the Zimbabwean president to turn herself in to face charges of assaulting a model, a senior police source said.
South African police minister Fikile Mbalula had said earlier in the day the Zimbabwean first lady had already handed herself in to police and would appear in court shortly, but that information later appeared to have been premature.
Twenty-year-old Gabriella Engels told South African media Grace had attacked her while the model was visiting the Mugabes' sons Robert and Chatunga at a hotel in Johannesburg's upmarket Sandton district at around 9pm on Sunday.
According to Engels,
"She split my head open in 3 places - With an extension cord and used the plug to hit me." she said.Photos of below
"One cannot be a fugitive for not appearing at a court to which they have not been summoned & when they have not been charged of any crime!" Grace's close ally and higher education minister Jonathan Moyo tweeted, without elaborating.
Confusion arose on Tuesday afternoon when the magistrates' court where Grace had been expected to be formally charged closed for the day without her appearing.
"The negotiations for her to hand herself in are still going on. We are at a point where we cannot effect an arrest yet," the police source said. "We will cross that bridge when we get there."Asked if Grace was now considered a fugitive, the source said that was not the case at this stage.
"I don't know, I haven't seen her," the source said when asked if she was still in South Africa.Another source in South Africa's prosecuting authority said Mugabe had breached an agreement to surrender herself ahead of an expected court hearing on Tuesday afternoon.