They have acquired closed-circuit television footage which, they claim, shows Gabriella Engels (20) involved in a brawl at Sandton’s popular Taboo nightclub in the early hours of last Sunday morning, the day Mugabe allegedly assaulted her.
Engels denied yesterday that she was involved in any such brawl: “Yes, I was at Taboo, but I was not involved in any fight.
“They are trying to discredit me. The fight that happened at Taboo on Saturday has nothing to do with my case,” she said, adding that it was a friend of hers who was involved in the brawl.
“I was not partying with the boys and I would prefer not to be commenting on my connections with Taboo.”
But two sources, one close to the Mugabe family and the other a regular at Taboo, told City Press this week that in the early hours of Sunday morning, Engels and a group of friends came to blows with another group of women inside the club.
The witness claimed he saw Engels and her friends with the Mugabe brothers, Robert junior and Chatunga Bellarmine, inside the club’s large VIP section.
They were drinking “lots” of French Champagne – including bottles of Verve Clicquot, which the club sells for R2 400 each, and Moët which it sells for R2 100.
There were also bottles of vodka and whisky on the table.
The witness said the two groups of women came to blows inside the VIP section and that the Mugabe brothers separated them.
But later when they left, and as the brothers settled the bill, the fight started again in the parking lot.
“The quarrel was very serious,” claimed one source.
“When the fight happened outside, I saw one of the Mugabe brothers running outside, while the bouncers were separating the girls. I even called the bouncers and they managed to separate them.”
Engels, however, denied she knew the Mugabe brothers, insisting that she met them on the day of the assault.
A security guard at the Capital 20 West hotel in Morningside, Sandton, said the Mugabe brothers rented up to six rooms – which cost more than R1 000 a day each – for almost two months.
He told City Press that Engels arrived at the hotel in the early hours of Sunday with bruises on her face.
Engels denies this: “No, I left the club in the morning with no injuries at all.”
The guard claimed that Engels had been a regular visitor to the hotel since the Mugabes moved in.
He said she and her friends spent the day there on Saturday and left with the Mugabes later that evening in a convoy of four cars, accompanied by bodyguards.
He was adamant, however, that Engels only “sustained the cut on her forehead during the assault [by Mugabe] at about 21:00 on Sunday”.