President of South Africa, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, didn’t have it easy when he mounted the podium at the Heroes Acre in Harare, Zimbabwe to publicly apologise to Africans, following renewed xenophobic attacks on some African nations in South Africa.
Mr. Ramaphosa was met with loud hoots as he walked forward to make his speech as part of commiseration efforts at the late Statesman’s burial.
The stadium was suddenly filled with louder jeers at the President when he began to read his speech before the audience. The crowd, filled with majority of Zimbabweans, will not have it from the man whom they believe was overseeing the dastardly attacks in his country.
After struggling for sometime, the coordinator managed to maintain calm and the speech continued.
Mr. Ramaphosa, while speaking rendered an unqualified apology about unfortunate incidents that happened in recent times and stressed on the need for Africa to unite.
He also condemned the attacks and called for joint forces to deal with the subject.
“I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret and to apologies to what has happen in our country …. I stand before you fellow Zimbabweans, fellow Africans to say we are working very hard to encourage all our people in South Africa to embrace people from all African countries”
“In the past two weeks we South Africans have been going through a challenging period. We have had acts of violence erupting in some parts of our country. Some of which were directed at nationals of some African countries, this has led (as I can hear your responding) to the deaths and inquires of a number of people. Some of who were nationals from other countries and the majority were South Africans”
The president of South Africa also acknowledged the support from African countries during the apartheid era,
“Your Excellencies, I would like to thank you for the support that you have offered us South Africans during this difficult time. I would like to state it here and now that South Africans are not Xenophobic, South Africans are not against Nationals from other countries. We welcome people from other countries and we are going to work very hard that we encourage and promote social cohesion of all the people of South Africa working and living side by side with people from other parts of our continent”.
He described Robert Mugabe as an African Hero and thanked him for his personal support to South Africa,
“President Mugabe was a friend of the Africa National Congress and the people of South Africa and he stood by us during our darkest hour. He was unwavering in his support for our liberation struggle. Under his leadership, Zimbabwe and especially ZANU–PF gave both moral and material support to UA at a time when our leadership was forced into exile and our people were suffering under the yoke of apartheid”
Many Zimbabweans shunned the ceremony for their late president which was held at the national stadium in Harare.