South African authorities at odds over Grace Mugabe assault probe

August 14, 2017
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South Africa : The ministry of police on Monday said allegations by a Johannesburg woman, who claims that Zimbabwe’s first lady 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 Gabriella Engels, 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.

Gah-bee posted pictures showing a deep gush on her forehead. Gah-bee alleges that the wife of President Robert Mugabe attacked her in the presence of her 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.

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