A large crowd of mourners who attended the funeral of Zimbabwean former president, Robert Mugabe, on Saturday, jeered and whistled at South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa during his speech at the funeral before he apologised for recent xenophobic attacks.
At least 12 people have been killed this month in a surge of violence and mob attacks against foreign-owned businesses in and around Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city.
The crowd jeered, booed and whistled in attempt to interrupt Ramaphosa at the Harare national stadium as he started his eulogy in honour of Mugabe, who died age 95 last week.
“I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret and apologise for what has happened in our country,” Ramaphosa pleaded after one of the organisers tried to calm the crowd.
His comments were greeted with cheers and blasts of sound horns from the crowd.
Xenophobic attacks of citizens of other African countries in South Africa, including killings and destruction of property has resulted in the affected countries evacuating their citizens in protest.
At the last count over 600 Nigerians have returned to their country as the government with private assistance, organized the evacuation.
The attackers looted shops and homes, clashing with police. Hundreds of migrants from Nigeria, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have fled to shelters.