Zimbabwe’s First Lady fails to appear in court

BBC:-Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe has so far failed to appear in a South African court over an assault case despite officials saying she would do.

South African police said in the late afternoon they did not know where Mrs Mugabe was.

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

She released an image of a face injury online. Mrs Mugabe has not commented.

Gabriella Engels accused Mrs Mugabe, 52, of hitting her after finding her with her two sons in a hotel room in Sandton, a plush suburb north of Johannesburg, the BBC’s Pumza Fihlani reports.

The attack is said to have happened on Sunday evening.

“The negotiations over the suspect handing herself over have not concluded and our investigations have not finalised,” police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo Naidoo told AFP news agency.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula earlier said Mrs Mugabe had handed herself over to police but was not under arrest, and would appear in court early on Tuesday afternoon local time.

Hours later Mr Naidoo clarified: “The minister learned later that it just didn’t materalise as it was supposed to.”