Grace Mugabe’s oldest son, Russell Goreraza (33), from her first marriage, imported two Rolls Royce limousines into bankrupt Harare on Sunday.
The two vehicles – valued at more than R70 million (about $5,4m) – were offloaded from a KLM Airlines plane at Harare International Airport.
Their arrival sparked a huge celebration on Sunday night with French champagne flowing among Goreraza and his Harare friends, all close to the First Family.
Goreraza has told pals in Harare his next vehicle, due to arrive in the Zimbabwean capital shortly, is an Aston Martin. Goreraza, born to Grace when she was married to her first husband, Stanley Goreraza, has a fast living reputation. Like his two younger brothers, Robert Jnr (25) and Chatunga (21), sons of President Robert Mugabe, he has a chequered reputation and was previously found guilty of culpable homicide after he ran over and killed a pedestrian in central Harare.
He has had a mining career, but insiders say he ultimately lives off massive cash donations from his mother who is regularly paid out with public funds from the Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as well as her personal bank account.
At present the Mugabe family, excluding Robert Jnr, are in New York at the United Nations General Assembly along with about 70 Cabinet ministers and senior officials at a cost – according to government sources – of about R130 million. This expenditure comes when Zimbabwe is failing to pay several debts it owes to various South African government departments and State-owned enterprises.
Goreraza was refused a visa by the United States, but did not answer three of his Zimbabwe telephone numbers yesterday. Airline officials in Harare say they suspected that the Rolls Royces were bought in Europe.
Grace’s lawyers from the Zimbabwean embassy are expected to show up at the Pretoria High Court today in connection with charges that she beat up and injured a 20-year-old Johannesburg model at her two younger sons’ rented apartments last month. The woman, Gabriella Engels, claims Mugabe beat her and two of her friends with an extension cord. She was treated in hospital the same night and made a full statement to the police.
- Chamisa under fire over US$120K donation
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Pension funds bet on Cabora Bassa oilfields
- Councils defy govt fire tender directive
The South African government, apparently reluctantly, granted Grace diplomatic immunity so she could leave the country before facing charges.
Afriforum lawyer Willie Spies, acting for Engels, said there would be “preliminary interlocutory proceedings” in the Pretoria High Court today and that indications were that lawyers for the Zimbabwean embassy might submit an intervention on behalf of the First Lady.
With fees released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in May, Grace recently spent about R48 million on a property and various fees in Sandhurst, Johannesburg, as a “bolt hole” for when her husband dies.
Goreraza is the signatory on this deal.
Included in her spending in Sandhurst is another massive property she rents for herself and her two younger sons, but well-placed sources in Sandton said the two young men have also set up another flat in the building from where they were evicted last month after their mother’s alleged attack against Engels.
They frequent various night clubs in Sandton, in particular Taboo, where officials say they are big spenders. Robert Jnr is studying at University of Johannesburg. Chatunga has so far not managed to secure any educational qualifications. — Independent Foreign Service