Grace Mugabe back from SA despite assault claim

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe has returned home from South Africa after failing to turn herself in to police in Johannesburg to face accusations of assault, officials say.

It was not immediately clear why Mrs Mugabe did not report to police after saying she would do.

A 20-year-old South African woman has accused Mrs Mugabe of hitting her over the head with an extension cord during a row at a hotel on Sunday evening.

Mrs Mugabe has so far not commented.

Zimbabwean government sources confirmed that Mrs Mugabe, wife of President Robert Mugabe, had returned home.

“Yes, she is back in the country. We don’t know where this issue of assault charges is coming from,” said one senior official quoted by Reuters.

Earlier, South African police said they had been negotiating with Mrs Mugabe’s lawyers to get her to hand herself in.

Confusion surrounded the case with officials saying at one point that Mrs Mugabe had handed herself over to police and would appear in court. She did not appear and police sources later said she had agreed to turn herself in but failed to do so.

Gabriella Engels, a model, accused Mrs Mugabe, 52, of hitting her after finding her with her two sons in a hotel room in Sandton, a wealthy suburb north of Johannesburg.

Ms Engels released an image of a head injury online.

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