Assault: Grace Mugabe fails to turn up for Court hearing

Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe

Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe

Zimbabwe government sources confirmed to Reuters news agency that she had returned home.

The 52-year-old first lady also attacked two of Engels' friends, the model claimed, after she had met her sons, Robert Jnr, 25, and Chatunga Bellarmine, 21, at a party.

Confusion surrounded the case on Tuesday.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula earlier said Mrs Mugabe had handed herself over to police but was not under arrest, and would appear in court early on Tuesday afternoon local time.

"We know where the suspect is", South Africa's police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo told AFP.

"We were chilling in a hotel room‚ and they were in the room next door‚" Engels said.

"One can not 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!" Jonathan Moyo, Grace's close ally and Zimbabwe's higher education minister, said on Twitter.

Dubbed "Gucci Grace", "The First Shopper", or even "DisGrace", she showed her political mettle in 2014 with her ruthless campaign against then vice-president Joice Mujuru, who was a contender to succeed her husband.

She was not charged due to diplomatic immunity. She is said to have paid a surprise visit to her sons' hotel room, where she apparently went berserk.

"I just hope that the fact that I'm being strong enough to speak against her and that means I can be the voice for other people who she assaulted".

The MDC-T spokesperson said the First Lady should play her parental role to the children instead of "beating up innocent and defenceless young women".

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"Her ten bodyguards just stood there watching, no one did anything, no one tried to help me". She allegedly beat the model with an electrical extension cord leaving the woman with injuries to her head. "I'm a model and I make my money based on my looks".

It was unclear what triggered the incident.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Engels for comment.

"She just completely lost it".

"She split my head open in 3 places". President Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

Regent manager Imelda Fincham did not elaborate but confirmed the pair had left.

Married Mr Mugabe, her second husband, in 1996 in an extravagant ceremony.

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.

But Naidoo later said no arrest had been made and police were talking with the suspect's lawyers.

'I am going to feel very let down if it turns out that Grace Mugabe does not face justice over what she did.

Last month she urged her husband to name his chosen successor, reviving speculation about the race to take over from the world's oldest national leader.

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