South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has reportedly tendered his apology following verbal attacks he suffered when crowd jeered and whistled at him on Saturday during the Zimbabwe ex-leader, Robert Mugabe’s funeral in Zimbabwe.
At least 12 people have been killed this month in a surge in violence and mob attacks against foreign-owned businesses in and around Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city.
A wave of jeers, boos and whistles interrupted Ramaphosa at the Harare national stadium as he started his eulogy at the state funeral for Mugabe, who died age 95 last week.
While making his apology for the xenophobic attacks in his country, Ramaphosa said;
“I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret and apologise for what has happened in our country.”
South Africa, the continent’s second largest economy, is a major destination for other African migrants. But they are often targeted by some locals who blame them for a lack of jobs.
But with shops and homes burned and looted and clashes between armed mobs of looters and police, hundreds of migrants from Mozambique and Zimbabwe have fled to shelters.
Nigeria’s government has flown hundreds of its citizens back from Johannesburg after some of them were targeted in the violence.