President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace wave the National Flag. Photo credit /

The wife of the Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe, has returned home from South Africa, despite allegations of assaulting model Gabriella Engels at a hotel in Johannesburg.

Grace Mugabe, 52, landed at Harare early on today, local media in Zimbabwe reported. “President Robert Mugabe, accompanied by the first lady, arrived on board an Air Zimbabwe flight early on Sunday morning,” Zimbabwe’s ZBC state broadcaster said:

It showed pictures of Mrs. Mugabe greeting officials at Harare airport.

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Mrs Mugabe had been accused of hitting the 20-year-old woman over the head with an extension cord.

She had been due to take part on Saturday in the first ladies’ programme at the Southern African Development Community heads of state summit in Pretoria, which Mr Mugabe, 93, was attending.

South African police had said they wanted to interview Mrs Mugabe and set up a ‘red alert’ at the country’s borders to try to ensure she did not flee the country.

It remains unclear whether South Africa’s government granted Mrs Mugabe’s plea for diplomatic immunity. She has not commented on the allegation.

Model Gabriella Engels shows off a wound sustained after assault by Zimbabwe First Lady Grace Mugabe

Lawyers for Gabriella Engels, the woman who accused Mrs Mugabe of hitting her, say their client was offered money to drop the case but she refused.

Ms Engels appeared at a press conference on Thursday with a large plaster on her forehead.

She told the BBC: “She hit me with the plug and the extension cord. And I just remember being curled down on the floor with blood rushing down my face and down my neck.”

The South African Broadcasting Corporation said the Mugabes were scheduled to attend a funeral for a state minister at Harare’s Heroes Acre on Sunday.