Grace Mugabe Returns to Zimbabwe After Alleged Assault on South African Model

President Robert Mugabe kisses first lady Grace Mugabe during Zimbabwe’s 37th Independence Day celebrations in April.

Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe returned home Sunday from South Africa, where she was accused of assaulting a model with an electric cord, public broadcaster ZBC reported.

ZBC said on its website that President Robert Mugabe, “who was accompanied by the first lady, Grace Mugabe, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa and Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi arrived aboard an Air Zimbabwe plane in the early hours of today.”

Mugabe was able to leave South Africa after its government approved her request for diplomatic immunity.

The alleged attack on Grace Engels, 20, took place at a hotel in Johannesburg’s posh Sandton district on August 13.

In making the decision, South Africa took into account the need to maintain good relations in the region and with Zimbabwe in particular, said International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in a statement.

“The Minister has made the determination that the conferring of diplomatic immunity is warranted in this particular instance,” the statement said.

“The Department wishes to convey the message that the Minister has agonized over this matter and the decision was not an easy one to make.”

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SOURCE: CNN, Hilary Clarke and David McKenzie