Marthina Mutanga & Niël Terblanché
PRESIDENT Hage Geingob, Dr. Sam Nujoma, the Founding President and Father of the Namibian Nation as well as Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba joined scores of other foreign dignitaries for the official funeral service of Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe in Harare.
Dr. Sam Nujoma delivered a tribute to the late Robert Mugabe at the ceremony in Harare and said he made a great contribution to the total liberation of the African continent.
“He engaged the enemy and defeated him on the battlefield. Today we are all happy that Namibia and the rest of Africa are free forever,” Dr. Nujoma said.
Upon his return to Namibia late on Saturday afternoon President Geingob said Namibians will forever cherish the firm stance that President Mugabe took during the time of Namibia’s first democratic elections.
“He kept his word fought for freedom of his people and that of Africa. He played an important role in Namibia’s first elections if he did not write a strng worded letter to the United Nations to appoint a special director to see that all the votes were counted and tallied fairly. That really helped us,” Dr. Geingob said.
Also speaking at the official funeral service, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa apologised for the recent spate of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa..
“In the past two weeks we as South Africans have been going through a challenging period. We have had acts of violence erupt in certain places. “Some of these were directed at nationals from other African countries. I stand before you as a fellow African to express regret and apologise for what has happened,” President Ramaphosa said.
According to international media reports a military band led family members, officials from the ruling Zanu-PF party and foreign dignitaries from across Africa on a short parade across the grass of the national stadium to the late Mugabe’s coffin, which was draped in the Zimbabwean national flag.
Mugabe died earlier this month aged 95 in a luxury clinic in Singapore.
The official funeral service follows an announcement by President, Emmerson Mnangagwa and the late Mugabe’s family that his burial will not take place for at least a month. The burial will only take place once a special mausoleum has been built at the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare.