Zimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe, has returned to Harare from South Africa after failing to surrender herself to police in Johannesburg to face charges of assaulting a 20 year-old model in a Sandton hotel room.
There was no immediate public comment on the case from Grace, 52, a possible successor to her husband President Robert Mugabe, 93, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980.
However, Zimbabwe government sources confirmed she had returned home.
“Yes, she is back in the country. We don’t know where this issue of assault charges is coming from,” said a senior government official, who declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the press.
A second official also confirmed that Grace had returned, saying “she is around now” and accused the media of a plot to tarnish the first family’s name.
Earlier, South African police said they were negotiating with Grace’s lawyers to get her to turn her in to face charges of assault, a senior police source said.