Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Grace Mugabe, has denied assaulting a South African model with an electric cable in hotel suite last month, claiming the “intoxicated and unhinged” model attacked her with a knife.
In a previously unreported Aug. 17 deposition seen exclusively by Reuters, Mugabe countered 20-year-old Engels’ version, portraying herself as the victim after intervening on behalf of her adult sons Chatunga and Robert Junior who were “in trouble with a drunken young woman”.
The statement said Grace Mugabe, 52 and a contender to replace her 93-year-old husband as Zimbabwe’s president, was thinking about filing attempted murder charges.
A group representing Engels dismissed the allegations as lies. According to the model, an irate Mugabe burst into the room where she was waiting with two friends to meet Chatunga on Aug. 13 and started laying into her with an electric cable.
Now, in her deposition, Mugabe dismissed Engels’ version as “malicious allegations” and said she had been attacked after going to help her sons.
The statement said;
“She was worried about them and went to see them at their hotel suite,”
“Upon her arrival, Ms Engels, who was intoxicated and unhinged, attacked Dr. Grace Mugabe with a knife after she was asked to leave the hotel.”
“Security was left with no other option but to remove Ms Engels from the hotel suite,” it continued.
The statement also alleged that Engels had been in a fight with other women at Johannesburg’s Taboo nightclub the previous evening and suggested that may have been the cause of her injuries.
Afriforum, an Afrikaans civil society group acting on behalf of Engels, denied both accusations.
“Gabriella never attacked Grace Mugabe in any way and she did not participate in the fight at Taboo,” Afriforum said.
“It is clear that Grace Mugabe is desperately trying to escape responsibility for her own violent behavior by using lies to falsely portray the victim in this case as the perpetrator.”
South Africa granted Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity, allowing her to evade immediate prosecution for assault, although Engels and Afriforum have challenged that decision, saying Mugabe was not in South Africa on official business.