President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as a hero and pan-Africanist who fought colonialism.

“He was more than a representative figure of the struggle. He was more than a representative figure of resilience for the people of Zimbabwe. He was a towering figure in the struggle against colonialism exploitation.”

Ramaphosa was speaking at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on Friday evening where a full public gallery attended a memorial for Mugabe who recently died in Singapore.

He said Mugabe was prepared to sacrifice much for the freedom of SA.

Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe lying in state at Murombedzi Growth Point. (Zinyange Auntony, AFP)

“He was prepared to risk the fortunes and infrastructure of their own country so we in SA could be free. He was prepared to give free passage to Umkhonto we Sizwe soldiers to come through Zimbabwe and launch operations in Zimbabwe knowing well he would risk reprisals from the apartheid government.”

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“Did he flinch or hesitate? Not Mugabe, he was prepared to support us to the end. He was an African patriot, believed right of self-determination of African people.”

Ramaphosa said Mugabe was a firm pan-Africanist.


Kaveel Singh