South Africa-Zimbabwe-Memorial

Ramaphosa homage to 'pan-African hero' Mugabe

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who died early this month was both a hero and a Pan-Africanist who fought colonialism for the betterment of fellow Africans, according to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during a memorial for the late leader held in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night.

"He was more than a representative figure of the freedom struggle on the continent. 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."

 

Speaking at the Pietermaritzburg city’s hall, Ramaphosa said Mugabe had sacrificed a lot for the freedom of South Africans as well. 

 

"He was prepared to risk the fortunes and infrastructure of his own country so that we, in South Africa, could be free as well. 

 

“He was prepared to give free passage to Umkhonto we Sizwe (the ANC’s army) soldiers to pass through his country and launch military operations into South Africa knowing fully well he would risk reprisals from the apartheid government," the president said.

 

"Mugabe supported us to the end. He was an African patriot. He believed in the right of self-determination of all Africans,” Ramaphosa told the fully packed city hall. 

 

"This trait of recognising his African identity was chiseled into his being in South Africa where he attended our Fort Hare University (to earn his first degree). 

 

“The university had a lasting impact on Mugabe. It gave him an identity as an African. We will forever remember him as a gigantic intellectual." 


NM/as/APA

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