The hard-partying sons of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe went to ground this week as their parents were besieged in their Blue Roof mansion in the exclusive Harare suburb of Borrowdale.
Close friends and confidantes of the young men – Robert junior (25) and Chatunga Bellarmine (21) – say they have been holed up at the mansion in the exclusive Johannesburg suburb of Sandhurst, which a company owned by their half-brother, Russell Goreraza (33), bought for R43 million in February.
“They are still in Sandhurst and they are not allowed to go clubbing,” one of the sources told City Press this week.
“Their bodyguards were given instructions to make sure they don’t go anywhere.”
But other friends of the Mugabe brothers showed City Press WhatsApp conversations they had with them, in which they insisted they were back home in Zimbabwe.
Another close friend of the brothers told City Press this week that they were sent straight to their parents’ home in Zimbabwe after a controversial video went viral last week. In it, Bellarmine is seen at a popular Sandton nightclub, flaunting an expensive watch and bragging about his father’s power.
In the video, Bellarmine is seen pouring a bottle of Armand de Brignac Ace Of Spades Champagne worth thousands of rands over his diamond-encrusted watch, which he previously bragged was worth R850 000. He recently posted a picture on his Instagram account of the watch, captioned: “$60 000 on the wrist when your daddy run the whole country ya know!!!”
A source who was at the club that night said that the brothers spent at least R200 000.
“They were in a jovial mood, they were washing their hands with champagne,” he said.
“After this, their parents were very angry and the boys were reprimanded,” added another friend.
Another source who was there that night said the brothers were buying copious bottles of Ace of Spades and Dom Perignon Champagne, which cost R18 000 and R7 000 a bottle respectively.
“These are the most expensive Champagnes in the club,” the source said.
However, a close confidante of the brothers said they routinely lied to their women friends about their whereabouts to stay out of trouble.
“They have so many girlfriends, so they had to lie to them that they are in Zim,” he said.
City Press learnt that the brothers booked a VIP table on Friday night at Sandton’s Taboo nightclub, but they did not arrive, and the table was later allocated to other guests.
One club insider said the brothers were regulars at the club and were expected to party up a storm in the VIP area as usual, surrounded by women and buying expensive booze. Spotted in the club’s VIP section on Friday night were Eastern Cape politicians Andile Lungisa and Teris Ntuthu and South African Student Congress secretary-general Tembani Makata, who partied until the early hours of the morning.
City Press spent much of the week outside the brothers’ home in Sandhurst which was deathly quiet. No cars were spotted arriving or leaving the premises.
However, the brothers have no choice but to show their faces in South Africa next weekend because they are bringing top Nigerian musician and songwriter, Augustine Miles Kelechi, known to his fans as Tekno, to the country. Tekno will be performing at Harem nightclub in Rosebank next Saturday.
“Tekno doesn’t come cheap. It’s going to be his first time performing in South Africa – his first performance will be in Zimbabwe on Friday,” said another source.
“The boys’ dad wanted them to cancel Tekno’s tour because of the Zimbabwe saga, but the boys begged him and promised to do things right this time around,” said a woman friend of the brothers, adding that they’ve spent a fortune to bring Tekno to South Africa and it took them months to convince him to come to the country.
“A lot of South African promoters have tried to bring Tekno to South Africa but they failed because no one could afford him. But only the Mugabe boys have managed to so,” she added.
The same source said that after their mother, Grace, sparked a diplomatic storm by assaulting model Gabriella Engels with an extension cord, the brothers were given very strict instructions to stay in the Sandhurst house and not leave the premises.
“They were not allowed to go to party or go clubbing. Their bodyguards were given instructions to keep an eye on the boys,” she said.
But their friends agree that the Mugabe brothers will have to cut back on their free-spending and partying ways now that the political dynamics in Zimbabwe have shifted.
“Their bodyguards are likely to be withdrawn and they will no longer have access to unlimited funds,” said a source close to the family.
“Their lives are going to change. They used to go to banks and get funding anytime, but that is likely to change.” – Additional reporting by Julian Seeber