A young boy walks past a digital image of late former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe as his body lies in state at Murombedzi Growth Point, about 107 km northwest of Harare, Zimbabwe, on September 16, 2019. Picture :AFP/JEKESAI NJIKIZANA
A young boy walks past a digital image of late former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe as his body lies in state at Murombedzi Growth Point, about 107 km northwest of Harare, Zimbabwe, on September 16, 2019. Picture :AFP/JEKESAI NJIKIZANA

What word best describes the sight of some Zimbabweans booing SA’s president at Robert Mugabe’s sparsely attended funeral, and President Cyril  Ramaphosa feeling the need to apologise? Is it irony? Schadenfreude?

Mugabe, along with all the Zanu-PF bigwigs present for that spectacle on Saturday, wrecked his country. An entire generation of Zimbabweans has fled the country he destroyed for a better life elsewhere (me included).

Despite huge issues of its own, SA has provided a home and new life for most of these economic refugees. Instead of directing their anger at their governors, the boo-ers scapegoat the leader of the country whose hosting of so many refugees provides the remittances that keep Zimbabwe from descending into the dark ages.

The most poignant summary of Mugabe’s life I read in the aftermath of his death was in the obituary section of The Economist. To paraphrase, it said Mugabe once boasted he would live to 100 and the tragedy for Zimbabwe is that he came so close to achieving that.

Suhail Suleman, Cape Town