Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe could face legal action after allegedly beating up and injuring a young woman who was partying with her two sons in South Africa.
Gabriella Engels, 20, said she is going to take Mrs Mugabe to court and sent out pictures of a wound in her head which she said was caused by the first lady during the confrontation on Sunday night.
Mrs Mugabe, 52, had been in South Africa for medical treatment but returned home to Harare on Saturday – only to fly back to Johannesburg 24 hours later.
Bulawayo 24 , a Zimbabwe news site, claimed the country’s first lady then attacked Ms Engel with an extension cord after finding her in a hotel with her sons, Robert Jnr, 25, and Chatunga 21.
Both sons were allegedly unsteady on their feet after a long party.
Writing on Twitter, Ms Engels, a model from Johannesburg, claimed that the first lady attacked her while her guards looked on and did nothing to help her.
“What is a girl compared to a women beating you and 10+ body guards standing back leaving her to do this s***,” she wrote.
“She split my head open in 3 places with an extension cord and used the plug to hit me,” she added.
Gabrielle’s mother Debbie Engels has said via social media that she is going to the police to lay charges of assault against Mrs Mugabe.
Mrs Mugabe’s spokesperson has not commented on the incident.
The Mugabe sons used to live in Dubai in a palatial house rented by their parents but had to leave suddenly, allegedly in connection with incidents connected with drug or alcohol abuse.
They are supposed to be studying in Johannesburg but are well known at various luxury night spots where they are reportedly generous with their cash for imported champagne.
Both were recently evicted from their luxury Johannesburg apartment after they were caught up in a drunken brawl in which a security guard was injured.
Garnet Basson, CEO of the Capital Hotel group, declined to name Mr Mugabe by confirmed that guests were asked to leave a hotel after an “incident.”
“We did have the guests removed from the premises due to a scenario where we thought it was not good for them to stay there,” he said.
The incident comes amid mounting speculation about power struggles within Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party over the succession to the presidency when Mrs Mugabe’s elderly husband dies.
Robert Mugabe, 93, has said he will run for the presidency again next year, but he is in increasingly frail health. He has declined to name a successor, despite reported pressure from Mrs Mugabe to do so.
Mr Mugabe used a public appearance on Monday to reveal that Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice president and a favourite for the succession, has been flown to South Africa for emergency medical care.
Mr Mnangagwa, 74, fell ill at a rally where Mugabe spoke on Saturday in the southern town of Gwanda suffering from severe suspected food poisoning.