The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa was given a sour reception at the funeral of the Late Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare Saturday noon as he was booed by the crowd while addressing the mourners, ABC News can report.
The funeral service, which took place at the National Sports Stadium, saw heads of state and former presidents joining Zimbabweans in paying tribute to the former states man.
Ramaphosa took to the stage to deliver his condolences but he was interrupted by boos from the crowd.
The reaction from the crowd is believed to have been informed by the renewed anti-foreigner attacks in South Africa, which has seen many Black Africans flee the country for safety.
In recent weeks, foreign nationals have been attacked in South Africa during a spate of violent activity that led to shops being looted and property vandalized.
Twelve people have died, many have been arrested and hundreds of immigrants – including Nigerians and Zimbabweans – have left the country.
When Mr Ramaphosa was finally allowed to speak, he apologised for the violence and indicated that South Africa was committed to the spirit of Mugabe.
“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,” he said.
“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.