It was only later that Gabriella learned the true identity of her notorious attacker, whose reputation for ruthless political ambition, violent outbursts and lavish spending habits as earned her the nicknames “DisGrace” and “the First Shopper” of Zimbabwe.
The incident occurred at about 9pm on the Sunday, when Mrs Mugabe went to visit her two sons Robert Jnr and Chatunga.
Police Minister Mbalula told reporters: “In terms of foreign citizens, they must understand they have responsibilities, especially those who hold diplomatic passports”.
In the latest case, Grace allegedly used her medical trip to South Africa to also see her children at the Capitol 20 West hotel in Sandton when this incident happened. She told crowds in 2015 that she would put her husband in a wheelchair if necessary so he could run for re-election.
Nkosi-Malobane’s spokeswoman Busaphi Nxumalo forwarded to dpa photographs of a young woman with a severe head wound, saying she was the one Mugabe had attacked.
The DA will call for an inquiry into how Grace Mugabe was able to leave the country when she was clearly an identified suspect in a criminal charge.
This came as the police conflicted with their own minister over President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace’s whereabouts. He then added: “She will be charged”.
It was grossly irresponsible for the SAPS not to arrest the Zimbabwean first lady who can easily access private air travel, thus posing a flight risk. “We are at a point where we can not effect an arrest yet”, the police source said.
But how could the case proceed with neither a docket and suspect in the case, Grace Mugabe?
“I rushed her to the hospital to get stitches and when she calmed down, she told me she was assaulted by Mugabe’s wife”, she said.
An aspiring legislator based in the country’s second largest city of Bulawayo, Vimbaishe Musvaburi, said violence does not pay.
“MDC-T Women Assembly would like to assure the rest of the world, South Africa included, that mothers in Zimbabwe are not violent and they respect and uphold the rights of every human being regardless of race or class”.
Engels, who sustained injuries on the front of her forehead, the back of her scalp and more bruises on her body, said she wanted justice to be served. “I had no idea what was going on”.