Grace Mugabe. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Grace Mugabe. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The official Zanu (PF) twitter account has come out in defence of Grace Mugabe who is alleged to have assaulted a Johannesburg woman — by saying the Zimbabwean First Lady had been attacked.

Gabriella Engels claimed on Monday that she was assaulted by Mugabe following an altercation at a Sandton hotel at about 9pm on Sunday night.

Engels told TimesLIVE she had met Mugabe’s two sons for the first time on Saturday.

“[On Sunday night] we were chilling in a hotel room‚ and they [the sons] were in the room next door. She came in and started hitting us. The front of my forehead is busted open.”

The model said the First Lady beat her and two of her friends with an extension cord‚ while the two sons ran away and the Mugabe bodyguards looked on.

The Zanu (PF) twitter account tweeted a picture of her on Monday afternoon‚ saying: “We can confirm if this is one of the perpetrators who attacked comrade Grace Mugabe. Be careful comrades.”

In a follow-up tweet‚ the account said: “There will be no other comment on the attack on Comrade Grace Mugabe. Other than she is safe and fine. Good day.”

Grace Mugabe’s spokeswoman Olga Bungu declined to comment.

Engels‚ who has shared photographs showing gashes to her forehead and scalp on social media. “What is a girl compared to a woman beating you and 10+ bodyguards standing back‚ leaving her to do this shit‚” she tweeted about the incident.

Engels said she went to the nearest police station on Sunday night‚ but was told to first seek medical attention.

Engels’s mother‚ Debbie‚ said they were going to the police station to open an assault case on Monday.

“When she got home [on Sunday] I was already sleeping. She was in so much shock‚ she couldn’t tell me what happened‚” Debbie said.

“I rushed her to the hospital to get stitches and when she eventually calmed down‚ she told me she was assaulted by Mugabe’s wife‚” she said.

Calls and a Facebook message to Robert Mugabe’s spokesman‚ George Charamba‚ went unanswered on Monday‚ while Mugabe’s one son‚ Bellarmine Chatunga Mugabe‚ also did not respond to messages on Facebook.

Zimbabwean news media reported that Grace Mugabe was in SA for treatment following a “freak accident” in which she injured her right ankle.

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.

“What happened in the hotel room‚ I don’t have a comment on … I can’t disclose the name. We did have guests removed from the premises due to a scenario where we thought it was not good for them to stay there.

“It was almost a forceful exit‚ but it wasn’t. It was a decent exit after about a half an hour of discussions.”

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