Former President, Thabo Mbeki, has described former Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, as a leader who availed himself to attend to matters raised over the region’s liberation struggles.

This as African leaders are in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare – for Mugabe’s funeral. More than a dozen current and former leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, are attending.

Mbeki visited the Mugabe home in Harare on Friday night.

“I could raise anything with the president and he would always treat me very seriously and we would discuss anything and everything. So it was a very important relationship for me and our struggle. It is a period mourning until the president is laid to rest and for now we need to respect that.”

Several members of the South African cabinet are attending the funeral service of  Mugabe. South Africa has sent a strong delegation to the event which includes the current and two former Presidents.

Ministers Naledi Pandor, Ayanda Dlodlo, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Police Commissioner Bheki Cele sit side by side with ministers from countries as distant as Algeria, Cuba and The Saharawi Democratic Republic.

The High level delegation reflects the strong ties Between Pretoria and Harare as well as the historic ties between the African national Congress (ANC) and ZANU PF. President Cyril Ramaphosa will speak at the service as the incoming AU Chairperson.

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