Julius Sello Malema, leader of South Africa’s opposition party, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Thursday urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to allow loyalists to the late founding leader of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe to attend the funeral.
Speaking at a memorial service for Mugabe organised by his EFF in Soweto, Malema said:
Not all the time, but sometimes the apartheid regime used to release prisoners to go and bury their loved ones. Is the Mnangagwa regime worse than apartheid? Why can’t Mnangagwa release a statement to say all those who have worked with President Mugabe who are facing this or that charge, for the purpose of this funeral, you are all welcome, some form of immunity so that these people can go and bid farewell to a man they lived with, a man who brought them up, a man who looked after them, a man who wanted them to succeed him?
Malema’s remarks come after the government has already said that Patrick Zhuwao, Mugabe’s nephew and Mandiitawepi Chimene, as well as other exiled Mugabe’s loyalists who do not have any charges against them, could attend the funeral and even reside in Zimbabwe if they wanted to.
Most of Mugabe’s loyalists skipped the country’s borders during the army assisted transition of November 2017 which resulted in the demise of the former veteran leader.
Some of them, including former Cabinet Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo were facing criminal abuse of office charges whilst some just fled fearing that Mnangagwa would like to punish them for denigrating him when he was the Vice President.
More: Zim Live