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Grace Mugabe fails to appear in Court

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.

Hundreds dead in India,Nepal and Bangladesh floods

At least 221 people have died and more than 1.5 million been displaced by monsoon flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh, officials said Tuesday, as rescuers scoured submerged villages for the missing.

In Nepal, severe flooding has left tens of thousands of homes totally underwater in the populous southern lowlands, with nearly 20 percent of the population affected.

"As per the data we have received so far, 111 have been killed, 35 are still missing and a search operation is underway," Home Minister Janardan Sharma told parliament Tuesday.

A third of neighbouring Bangladesh is flooded, with at least 29 dead as relentless monsoon rains pound the densely-populated riverine country.

"Another 1.5 million people have been marooned," Reaz Ahmed, head of Bangladesh's disaster management department told AFP.

Almost 1,200 shelters have been erected across Bangladesh, while the army has been deployed to reinforce weakened river embankments and to assist with search and rescue operations.

In the border district of Lalmonirhat, roughly 600 Indian nationals took shelter in Bangladeshi villages along with their stricken livestock.

India has also suffered from torrential downpours and flash flooding, and a worsening monsoon that has already claimed the lives of at least 81 people in the eastern states of Bihar and West Bengal, and northeastern Assam state, over the last few days.

Train services have been cut entirely to the northeast, and at least 200,000 people are living in emergency camps in Assam, a remote state that suffers frequent flooding during the annual rains.

In Nepal, residents in hard-hit Saptari district blamed the government for failing to solve the seasonal floods and quickly send aid to those in need.

 Source: France24 Ghana News

Grace Mugabe to appear in court in South Africa over alleged hotel assault

 The Zimbabwean first lady, Grace Mugabe, is to appear in court in South Africa on Tuesday after handing herself in to police over allegations that she assaulted a woman in a Johannesburg hotel.

Mugabe, 52, allegedly attacked Gabriella Engels, 20, with an extension cord, wounding her forehead and the back of her head.

Mugabe went to a police station on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reported. According to the local eNCA TV channel she will appear in court later on Tuesday.

Police minister Fikile Mbalula said Mugabe would appear at Wynberg magistrates court on Tuesday afternoon, telling reporters: “She’s not under arrest because she co-operated and handed herself over to the police.”

Earlier in the day, Mbalula told the local Eyewitness News agency: “If she came here with her diplomatic passport, she’ll have diplomatic immunity. This doesn’t mean she cannot be arrested.”

A Zimbabwean intelligence source said Grace was travelling on a normal passport. “She was here on business,” the source told Reuters.

Pictures on social media appear to show Engels bleeding in Capital 20 West hotel in the upmarket district of Sandton.

Mugabe allegedly arrived with bodyguards at the hotel on Sunday and accused Engels of living with her sons, Robert and Chatunga, both in their 20s, who are based in the city.

“We were chilling in a hotel room, and [the sons] were in the room next door. She came in and started hitting us,” Engels, a model, was quoted as saying by the TimesLIVE website.
“The front of my forehead is busted open. I’m a model and I make my money based on my looks.”

Mugabe, who is 41 years younger than her husband, Robert, has two sons and a daughter with the Zimbabwean president.

“There was a criminal case opened in Sandton at Morningside [station] yesterday, but I can not release any name. Right now we have not arrested anybody,” national police spokesman Vish Naidoo told AFP.

Foreign affairs spokesman Clayson Monyela said Mugabe’s trip was “a private visit so government cannot get involved if an alleged crime is committed”.

Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, a provincial minister in Gauteng province, told Jacaranda FM that the case should be pursued through the courts.

“We hope that it will send a strong message to all leaders who abuse their power and assault innocent people in our country,” she said.

Grace Mugabe regularly speaks at rallies in Zimbabwe and is seen as a potential successor to her increasingly frail husband.

The Zimbabwe government made no immediate comment.

Grace Mugabe accused of assaulting woman

First Lady Grace Mugabe has been asked to hand herself over to police - or face arrest - over allegations that she assaulted a young woman during a visit to South Africa.