Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe shouted down US President Barack Obama as he delivered his speech at the funeral service for Nelson Mandela claiming Obama was ‘inciting’ Africans against their elected leaders.
Part of Mr Obama’s speech about political dissent angered Mr Mugabe, who shouted in his traditional clenched fist: “How about Snowden! Where is Assange? Double standards!”
The US president however ignored Mr Mugabe’s rants and went ahead to greet leaders without making exceptions.
He greeted among others, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta who has been indicted by the ICC and Cuban leader Raul Castro.
During his eulogy, Mr Obama had claimed there are leaders who pretend to be inspired by Madiba but cannot allow divergent views in their own countries.
“There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people,” Mr Obama said. It is this statement which angered Mugabe, prompting his outbursts about Obama also not allowing dissent.
Mr Mugabe later said he will mourn Mandela but not alongside people who were ‘busy protecting Apartheid’.
“See how the pretenders of Europe were many there. . .all of them defended Apartheid. . .we defeated them”, said Mr Mugabe.
During Mandela’s stint as president, he often clashed with the Zimbabwean leader over democratic principles.
President Mugabe told the South African Broadcasting Corporation early this year that Mandela was too saintly, saying he went too far in trying to accommodate white people. AFP.
IN OTHER NEWS.
President Robert Mugabe was cheered at the memorial service to Nelson Mandela. The cameraman focused on Mugabe and the crowd cheered. Mugabe is well regarded on the continent for fighting against white supremacy and standing up to the west. However, South Africa President Jacob Zuma did not receive the receiption he expected as he was booed at the start of the memorial service, in stark contrast to the rapturous applause received by Thabo Mbeki.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe proved pretty popular.
Crowds at the stadium both booed and cheered when Zuma entered the stadium and made his way onto the stage for the service, which started an hour later than the scheduled starting time of 11:00.
President Zuma’s name was skipped in the formal introduction by ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa in an effort to avoid more jeering.
The ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa urged the crowd to show restraint and be disciplined.
“We should show the same level of discipline as Madiba exuded,” Ramaphosa said.
More booing was heard when Zuma’s name was mentioned, while the crowds cheered loudly when the names of former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe, Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk were mentioned.
Zuma was seen with a stony expression, cleaning his glasses. Sapa reported he was seated between two of his wives, Gloria Bongekile Ngema and Thobeka Stacy Mabhija.