President Cyril Ramaphosa says the late former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will be sorely missed. Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital in the early hours of Friday morning aged 95.

Mugabe led Zimbabwe for 37 years before he was ousted in a military coup in November 2017.

President Ramaphosa has described Mugabe as a liberation fighter and a Pan-Africanist.

“He was one of those presidents who also contributed to the freedom of the people of South Africa. Once they attained their own independence, they established a free and independent Zimbabwe to be one of the frontline states where we as the African National Congress, we’re able to find refuge and where they supported our struggle. We will forever remember President Mugabe as a gallant leader of Pan-Africanism, the independence of Africa and we dip our heads to his memory.”

Leader of the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa, Ngqabutho Mabhena, says although many Zimbabweans find themselves in foreign countries as a result of the late Mugabe’s leadership, he contributed positively to the country.

Mabhena says Mugabe was a man of many contradictions; loved and hated by many.

“He’s a man who contributed to the national liberation. He became the first prime minister of an independent Zimbabwe in 1980. Unfortunately ten years after our independence, he introduced a neo-liberal policy, which impoverished the majority of Zimbabweans; many of whom are refugees in foreign land. He spearheaded a genocide. In 2000, he became a hero to many when he was seen as a soldier against imperialism when he distributed land to black Zimbabweans. So in short, he’s a man of different contradictions; he was loved by man and hated by many.”