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Police have put out a red alert to stop Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe, who is accused of assault, from leaving South Africa.
She is alleged to have assaulted a 20-year-old model who was in a hotel room with her two sons in Johannesburg.
Gabriella Engels claims she was beaten with an extension cord and posted a picture on Twitter showing a gash on her forehead.
She said the first lady’s bodyguards stood by watching.
Mrs Mugabe has requested diplomatic immunity over the alleged incident.
South African media had reported that diplomatic immunity would not apply in the case because Mrs Mugabe is not a part of Zimbabwe’s government or a government official.
Ms Engels appeared at a press conference on Thursday with several large white dressings on her head and a large billboard photo of her injury and Mrs Mugabe in the background.
Gerrie Nel, the prosecutor seen by millions around the world in the Oscar Pistorius case, also spoke to the media.
He said Ms Engels was suffering “secondary trauma” from the growing attention on the case.