Joburg woman claims she was assaulted by Grace Mugabe
A Johannesburg woman has claimed she was assaulted by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's wife‚ Grace.
Gabriella Engels‚ 20‚ claimed she was assaulted by Mugabe's wife at a Sandton‚ Johannesburg‚ hotel around 9pm on Sunday night after she 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 came in and started hitting us. The front of my forehead is busted open. I'm a model and I make my money based on my looks‚" she said.
She said Grace Mugabe proceeded to beat her and two of her friends with an extension chord‚ while the two sons ran away and the Mugabe bodyguards looked on.
She said she suffered gashes to her forehead and scalp. TimesLIVE has seen images of the injuries.
"What is a girl compared to a woman beating you and 10+ bodyguards standing back‚ leaving her to do this sh*t‚" she tweeted about the incident.
Engels said she went to the nearest police station on Sunday night‚ but was shown away by the police officer on duty‚ who told her to first seek medical attention.
Gabriella's mother‚ Debbie‚ said they were going to the police station to open an assault case on Monday.
"When she got home [on Sunday] I was already sleeping. She was in so much shock‚ she couldn't tell me what happened‚" Debbie said.
"I rushed her to the hospital to get stitches and when she eventually calmed down‚ she told me she was assaulted by Mugabe's wife‚" she said.
Calls and a Facebook message to Mugabe's spokesperson‚ George Charamba‚ went unanswered on Monday‚ while Mugabe's one son‚ Chatunga Bellarmine‚ also didn't respond to messages on Facebook.
Zimbabwean news has reported that Grace was in South Africa for treatment following a "freak accident" in which she injured her right ankle.
Garnet Basson‚ CEO of The Capital hotel group‚ where the alleged assault took place‚ said there was an incident that prompted management to ask guests to leave the hotel.
"What happened in the hotel room‚ I don't have a comment on ... I can't disclose the name. We did have guests removed from the premises due to a scenario where we thought it was not good for them to stay there.
"It was almost a forceful exit‚ but it wasn't. It was a decent exit after about a half an hour of discussions."