Mugabe in South Africa over assault claims against wife


Zimbabwe’s leader Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe at a State function. Reuters picture.

By Clement Manyathela

JOHANNESBURG – Eyewitness News has learnt that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is due to land in South Africa on Wednesday afternoon as controversy swirls around assault accusations involving his wife Grace.

It’s understood that Mugabe had to change his travelling plans to deal with the matter involving his wife and potential successor to the Zimbabwean presidency Grace Mugabe.

Mugabe was due to attend the 37th SADC summit in Pretoria this week.

Gabriella Engels says she was assaulted by the Zimbabwean first lady while visiting her sons at a Sandton Hotel at the weekend.

A senior prosecutor is now studying a docket in the assault case to see how to take the matter forward.

There is still no clarity as to Grace Mugabe’s whereabouts. Earlier reports said she had been seen returning home.

However, EWN reliably learnt that she is still in the country.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean Communist Party says it’s not surprised by the alleged assault.

The party’s general secretary Nicholas Mabena said: “We think she has a problem with managing her anger. She should go for counselling so that she will be able to manage her anger. We are not surprised at all.”

It’s understood the matter is now being dealt with at the highest level in government, with the president and Department of International Relations involved.

Sources have told EWN police are treading carefully on their next move to avoid a diplomatic row between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

It’s not clear if police have finalised a docket into the case against the first lady.



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