Zimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe, handed herself in to South African police on Tuesday and will be charged with assault after reports that she attacked a young woman in Johannesburg, the police minister said.
Fikile Mbalula earlier told reporters that 52-year-old Grace, a possible successor to her husband, 93-year-old president Robert Mugabe, had cooperated with police.
South African media said Grace was in the country to have an injured foot examined. It was unclear whether she was traveling on a diplomatic passport.
On whether she could be arrested while having diplomatic immunity, Mbalula said: “All those implications will be taken into consideration.” He then added: “She will be charged.”
“She is not under arrest because she cooperated and handed herself over to the police. But a case has been opened,” he said.
It was not clear at which court Grace would appear.
Neither Grace Mugabe, Zimbabwe information minister Christopher Mushohwe nor Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba were available to comment.
A Zimbabwean intelligence source said Grace had been traveling on an ordinary non-diplomatic passport. “She was here on business,” the source told Reuters.
South Africa’s News24 website said 20-year-old model Gabriella Engels had been visiting the Mugabes’ sons Robert and Chatunga at a hotel in the upmarket Sandton district over the weekend when she was set upon by Grace.