16 August 2017

South Africa: Victim Furious As Grace Skips Court, Returns to Zimbabwe

Photo: allafrica.com
Gabriella Engels and First Lady Grace Mugabe.

"I just want justice, I just want her [Grace Mugabe] to know what she did was not right."

These were the words of Gabriella Engels, one of the victims of Mugabe's alleged assault on three women she found in the company of her two sons over the weekend.

Engels claims she was attacked by Mugabe on Sunday night while the latter was visiting her two sons, Robert Jr and Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe, at their upmarket hotel in Sandton.

Mugabe allegedly used an extension cord to assault Gabriella and her two friends while the two sons and Mugabe's bodyguards stood idle.

"She split my head open in three places with an extension cord and used the plug to hit me."

Engels explained that after the attack, she and a friend were escorted to an office while Mugabe continued assaulting the third woman.

"We then waited for our friend to get out of the hotel room and she was busy screaming, the way Grace was beating her up," she said during an interview on 702.

"While we were waiting, I asked the security guard who this woman was as I wanted to lay charges. When he told me it was Mugabe's wife, it still didn't register because I was worried about

the blood running down my face."

I just want justice ... Gabriella Engels

An emotional Engels then explained that it was only when her mother showed her pictures of her alleged attacker on Monday that it finally dawned on her.

"I didn't even care who she was, I just knew that this woman needed to go to jail for what she'd done," she said.

She then went to report the case but was told to first seek medical attention before police were able to assist her. Once she'd done so, officers then opened a case against the first lady.

Speaking of Mugabe's failure to hand herself over to police and skipping her court case, the aspiring model said she was upset because all she wanted was justice and for Mugabe to realise what she had done was wrong.

"I am quite upset that she was allowed to escape the country. The last thing the police told me was that she handed herself over and then I heard they don't know where she is," she said.

"I am having doubts if I will get justice over this case. I am emotionally damaged because I am model and I make money with my looks, how am I going to get a job with a scar on my face."

Zimbabwean authorities have since confirmed that Mugabe had returned to her homeland after failing to turn herself in to police.

"Yes, she is back in the country. We don't know where this issue of assault charges is coming from," said a senior Zimbabwean government official, who declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Police said no warrant of arrest has been issued.

Some people have been asking if Grace was not a fugitive after she skipped court.

"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 friend and higher education minister Jonathan Moyo tweeted.

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