President Cyril Ramaphosa received a hot and cold reception in Zimbabwe on Saturday afternoon as he was first booed and later cheered at as he addressed mourners at Robert Mugabe’s state funeral in Harare.
Speaking during the funeral service at the National Sports Stadium, Ramaphosa took to the stage to deliver his condolences but was interrupted by boos from the crowd.
This was in response to the recent attacks on foreign nationals and their businesses in South Africa.
IOL reports that a pastor called on the crowd to calm down, but they would not stop.
Shortly after the boos died down, Ramaphosa apologised for the violence and the crowd then erupted in cheers.
The president also said that South Africa was committed to the spirit of Mugabe, which was a spirit of uniting Africa.
“In the past two weeks we have had challenges, some of which was directed at nationals from other countries. This has led to the deaths and injuries of other people – some of which were nationals of other countries, but the majority of which were South Africans. I stand before you to apologise for what has happened in our country,” said Ramaphosa.
“What has happened in South Africa goes against the unity of the African people that President Mugabe, Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela stood for. Fellow Zimbabweans, fellow Africans, we are working hard to encourage all our people to embrace people from all African countries. We will work hard to promote social cohesion to live side by side with people from other parts of the continent,” he added.
(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)