SOUTH AFRICA, Tshwane – Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Monday, condemned the conduct of Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe, who allegedly assaulted a young woman in Sandton, Johannesburg.
“I am deeply appalled and devastated by the allegations of assault on a young woman by Grace Mugabe. It is worrying especially since the assault happened during the month when we commemorate women for their role in the liberation struggle. Also, it is aggravated by the fact that the incident has been committed by someone with a high social standing in society,” said Nkosi-Malobane.
“No one has a right to abuse women irrespective of situations they find themselves in. People of Grace’s calibre were supposed to live an exemplary life and be a role model to inspire young women.”
Nkosi-Malobane has since instructed law enforcement agencies in Gauteng to “investigate this case accordingly and ensure that justice is served”.
Based on media reports and social media posts, President Robert Mugabe’s wife attacked the woman with an extension cord after finding her with her two sons. The woman suffered head injuries and bruises on her body. The first lady was in South Africa apparently to seek medical attention.
Earlier on Monday, the police ministry said allegations by the young Johannesburg woman, Gabriella Engels, who claims that Grace Mugabe assaulted her severely, are being handled by the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco).
Approached for comment by African News Agency (ANA) spokesperson for the police ministry Vuyo Mhaga referred all questions regarding allegations of assault raised by 20-year-old Johannesburg woman, to the department of international relations.
“The case is being dealt with at Dirco. Just check with Dirco. There is nothing I can say at the moment,” Mhaga said in a telephone interview.
However, spokesperson for the department of international relations Nelson Kgwete said the matter was not their constituency.
“We don’t handle matters like that. We are not a criminal investigations department, why would we handle that [matter],” said Kgwete.
A case of assault had reportedly been opened at a police station in Johannesburg but national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo did not respond to written enquiries on the matter.
The Johannesburg woman – who identified herself only as Gah-bee on Twitter – was apparently found in the company of Mugabe’s two sons Robert Jnr, 25, and Chatunga Bellarmine, 21 at a Sandton hotel before she was attacked. The Mugabe boys were allegedly unsteady on their feet after a long party.
Engels posted pictures showing a deep gush on her forehead. She alleges that the wife of President Robert Mugabe attacked her in the presence of numerous bodyguards.
Last month, the Mugabe sons were allegedly evicted from a luxury apartment in Sandton after a brawl which left a security guard injured.
The two young men, who previously lived in Dubai and Harare, were in an apartment at the Regent MCC in West Road South, Morningside and were paying rent via the state of about R70 000 per month. African News Agency