HomeNewsModel wanted to kill me: Grace

Model wanted to kill me: Grace

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FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe (pictured) has claimed that South African model, Gabriella Engels, whom she allegedly attacked last month, had charged at her with a knife, adding she was contemplating filing an attempted murder charge against the 20-year-old model.

Reports from South Africa yesterday said in a previously unreported August 17 deposition seen by Reuters, Grace had countered the 20-year-old Engels’ version, portraying herself instead as the victim.

Initially it was reported that Grace had stormed a hotel room where her two sons Robert Jr and Chatunga Bellarmine were partying with their female friends before violently attacking Engels with an electric cable, leaving the model with a deep gash on her forehead.

But in a police report, Grace claimed she had actually intervened on behalf of her children to save them from “a drunken young woman”.

According to media reports, the statement indicates that Grace (52), a leading contender in the acrimonious race to succeed her ailing 93-year-old husband, was contemplating filing attempted murder charges against Engels.

“She was worried about them (her sons) and went to see them at their hotel suite,” the statement said.

“Upon her arrival, Ms Engels, who was intoxicated and unhinged, attacked Dr Grace Mugabe with a knife after she was asked to leave the hotel,” it was reported yesterday.

“Security was left with no other option, but to remove Ms Engels from the hotel suite.”

However, civil rights group, AfriForum, which has offered to represent Engels and is pushing for Grace’s prosecution for assault, said Grace was trying to escape responsibility.

“It is clear that Grace Mugabe is desperately trying to escape responsibility for her own violent behaviour by using lies to falsely portray the victim in this case as the perpetrator,” the group was quoted as having said.

Grace’s statement reportedly accused Engels of having been involved in another brawl at a night club earlier on August 13, but AfriForum trashed this as well.

“Gabriella never attacked Grace Mugabe in any way and she did not participate in the fight at Taboo,” the Afrikaans rights group said.

South Africa granted Grace diplomatic immunity, allowing her to evade immediate prosecution for assault, although Engels and AfriForum have challenged that decision, saying Mugabe’s wife was not in South Africa on official business.

AfriForum, in its court application, argues the allegations against the First Lady constituted a “grave crime” that was not covered by diplomatic immunity laws.

The decision to let Grace Mugabe return home caused a row in South Africa, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance also going to court to overturn the immunity.

— Online/Richard Chidza

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