Mugabe: Ramaphosa expresses condolences after death of anti-colonialism 'champion'

2019-09-06 12:33
President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Presidency via Twitter)

President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Presidency via Twitter)

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences to Zimbabweans on behalf of South Africa, following the news of the death of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.

The 95-year-old liberation hero died at a hospital in Singapore on Friday.

"South Africans join the people and government of Zimbabwe in mourning the passing of a liberation fighter and champion of Africa's cause against colonialism," Ramaphosa said in a statement from the Presidency.

The president said under Mugabe's leadership, Zimbabwe sustained a "valiant" struggle against colonialism, inspiring South Africa's own efforts in its own battle against an apartheid regime.

READ | OPINION: Mugabe was no revolutionary. He was obsessed with power and control

"During the decades of our own struggle, Zimbabwe's liberation movement supported our own liberation movement to fight oppression on multiple fronts," said Ramaphosa.

He added that Zimbabwe was also brutalised and punished for supporting the South African liberation struggle.

"Many Zimbabweans paid with their lives so that we could be free. We will never forget or dishonour this sacrifice and solidarity," said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa also acknowledged the role Mugabe played through the Southern African Development Community in acknowledging solidarity in the region.

The Presidency noted Mugabe's early ties to South Africa, with the former statesman obtaining the first of his seven degrees from Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape.

Meanwhile, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has also extended its condolences to the government and the people of Zimbabwe following Mugabe’s passing.

Its minister Naledi Pandor said South Africa learnt of the 95-year-old’s passing with "great sadness".

"South Africa expresses her sympathies to the people and government of Zimbabwe, president Mugabe was a great freedom fighter who played a sterling role in the freedom of Africa as well as in leading the struggle and building democracy in Zimbabwe," said Pandor.

"Our deepest sympathies to his family, the people of Zimbabwe and the government," she added.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe
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