I had no feud with Mandela: President

President Mugabe arrives to bid farewell to South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria yesterday. Nelson Mandela’s flag-draped casket made a solemn journey through the streets of Pretoria yesterday, arriving at the seat of South Africa’s government where he will lie in state for three days. — AFP

President Mugabe arrives to bid farewell to South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria yesterday. Nelson Mandela’s flag-draped casket made a solemn journey through the streets of Pretoria yesterday, arriving at the seat of South Africa’s government where he will lie in state for three days. — AFP

Mabasa Sasa recently in Johannesburg, South Africa
President Mugabe has said Cde Nelson Mandela was a “great friend” and there was no feud between them as has been insinuated by some media houses. Since Cde Mandela’s death in Johannesburg on December 5 after a lung infection, some media outlets have tried to create the impression that President Mugabe and South Africa’s first black leader did not get along.

This went to the extent that some started querying why President Mugabe had taken “long” to issue a condolence message.
On returning from Cde Mandela’s memorial service, which was held on Tuesday, and yesterday’s body viewing, President Mugabe expressed surprise that some people thought the two did not get along.

Speaking to the media after landing in Harare, President Mugabe said, “I don’t know about any feud. If anything, there was an alliance. We worked very well with him when he came out of prison. We gave him support.

“We established the principle of national reconciliation (at independence in 1980), they took it over and used it as a basis to create what they have now as the Rainbow Nation. There was no feud, where was the feud, what feud?”

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said he hoped South Africa and Africa at large would uphold the principles that Mr Mandela embodied and fought for.

“We went to send off Cde Mandela and the two events were the memorial service yesterday (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday) this morning the viewing of the body.

“Those have taken place and we are very happy that he got this send off, this very huge send off for a man who actually deserved it.
“But we do hope that what he stood for, the principles that he stood for, will be pursued in South Africa. And some of them are universal, of course, and Africa also will pursue them.

“We do hope that the situation in South Africa will continue with the peace and calm that Mandela created in 1994 when he came out of prison.

“But from our point of view, we have lost a great friend, a revolutionary and a man of real principle. That’s why we went to give him a send off so that we would be satisfied that the love we had for him, the historical alliance that we created in the fight against imperialism and colonialism will not have been historically lost by our being absent, and by not really being present to see this great man being given his eternal rest.

“So we say let him rest in peace; he has done his best for the people of South Africa.”
In an earlier interview, President Mugabe’s spokesperson, Mr George Charamba, said the so-called feud was fanned by media houses that wanted to create a rift between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

“What is this fascination with a feud that does not exist? It is a contrivance by media that do now want to see an alliance between Zimbabwe and South Africa,” Mr Charamba said.

The Herald spoke to government officials from South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Tanzania who not only disputed the existence of a feud, but also provided insights into how the media contrivance of a fall-out came about.

A diplomat from Botswana said, “For your information, Zimbabwe was one of a group of Southern African countries working hard to get Nelson Mandela released from prison.

“I remember for instance one particular meeting between our President (Sir Ketumile Masire), President Mugabe, President (Joaquim) Chissano (Mozambique) and President (Ali Hassan) Mwinyi.

“This was in the late 1980s and they felt that the struggle in South Africa was stagnating and needed to be fired up. They felt that a key ingredient would be Mandela’s release from prison.

“There was a lot of pressure on Mozambique, in particular, at the time from the apartheid regime and they wanted the situation in that country resolved.

“Zimbabwe was also feeling the effects of South Africa’s support for Renamo (the Mozambique rebel group) and there was a real fear that Zimbabwe could be attacked by the apartheid regime.

“The whole region could not be comfortable with apartheid intact and they went about pressuring the wider international community to act on apartheid.

“So I don’t see why anyone would think that there would be a feud between the two. I suppose it is a media agenda for another purpose to make such claims.”

A senior South African media official told this paper that Mr Mandela and President Mugabe both understood the need for unity and that economic independence would best be achieved if the two countries worked together.

However, he noted, an alliance between the two countries caused consternation in the West and within business circles.
“There were some who felt that (President) Mugabe had a radical leaning and if his ideology got the economic backing of South Africa then they would change the face and landscape of business in the region.

“It was something that many people in commerce didn’t want and maybe that is where the idea of causing a rift between them (President Mugabe and Mr Mandela) started.”

A Tanzanian official said President Mwinyi in 1991 asked President Mugabe to delay large scale land reforms as they felt this would stiffen the backs of whites in South Africa and thus impede an end to apartheid.

This is something Former President Thabo Mbeki – who succeeded Mr Mandela as President – also said a few years ago.
Zimbabwe was largely expected to embark on land reforms in 1990 after the expiry of a moratorium on such a policy in the 1979 Lancaster House independence talks “but it was too sensitive a time to do it”, said the Tanzanian official.

Soon after his release from prison in 1990, Zimbabwe was one of the first countries that Mr Mandela visited and President Mugabe hosted a public reception for him at the University of Zimbabwe. He had been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Zimbabwe in 1986.

Soon after that, Cde Mandela was honoured with Freedom of the City of Harare and then of the Municipality of Kwekwe.
On being elected South Africa’s first black President in 1994, Cde Mandela met President Mugabe and President Masire to find ways of handling the military mutiny in Lesotho.

Presidents Mugabe and Mandela were a couple of years later to play key roles in the establishment of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

Cde Mandela was again in Harare in 1995 to discuss trade issues and ways of dismantling apartheid era tariffs, and later that year, the two leaders opened a new bridge across the Limpopo River.

Pin It
  • Paton

    Wa-wa-waaaaaaaaaah. We have at least 3 neurons. Someone suffered from Mandelalitis. Rest in peace Tata.

    • 123

      wafa wanaka

  • icho

    Dali Tambo interview speaks for itself. This was not just a intellectual difference but downright personal insults. That is why the government had to backpedal and do damage control with the South African government so he should spare us the lies.

    No wonder the family did not want him kuatsama muromo wako kachingomwazha zvisina key. Mazuva nao panotaurwa zvibvire, iye wave wokucharika moti next.

    • hamatakatambura

      wadi wadzokera kunorara nhai iwe? Ndozvawamukira kungowawata zvisina kana key kudai?

  • Mutengesimukurukuru

    But Madiba said that Mugabe did not want him released in his own words, because he feared Madiba would take away his popularity.

    • MuZimba

      tipewoka reference either the news paper, the media hse, ref to the vedio clip date of electronic news publishing, then we can start talking.

      • dlamini

        Ndozvinoyita mamhepo, kana iyeni wa 1960 andina kuzvinzwa ndinoyita follow up panyaya dze politics. Toto bhata munhu angangopenga.

        • spraga

          Go to newzim and watch the video clip where Mandela says it himself.

    • rukudzo

      Afa. He cant defend himself. Tipe qoute yacho ne page yacho paakazvitaura.

    • che guevera

      @Mutengesi–Where and when did Madiba say this and at what forum???How can i get access to this statement first hand???It is the first time i am hearing of such a sentiment despite the fact that i follow global politics in general and African politics specifically….I SUSPECT YOU ARE A HATER AND ANOTHER BIG LIAR!!!

      • Nevanji

        I’m sure you’re clever enough to know how to use a search engine?
        Try finding the televised interview of French President Sarkozy with Mandela in 2008, followed by Mandela’s swipe at Mugabe and violence in 2010, or even the SA “Mandela Mocks Mugabe Motorcade” clip.

      • Brutus

        @che guevera BABA its documented all over the internet Mandela said that while having a talk with Sarjozy


      Which popularity? You are confirming exactly what this article is highlighting, that it is people like Mutengesimukuru who would enjoy a rift between the two. Vatengesi vakagara variko. Kutengesa kana kusatengesa, President Mugabe and former President Mandela and other comrades, were brutally tortured by those who are singing praise songs aimed at dividing Africans – especially weak minds like mutengesimukuru.

      • Zvionere

        When was President Mugabe tortured while held as a political prisoner for 10 years under Rhodesian rule? I know he had the opportunity to study and earn several correspondence degrees from London Universities while he was imprisoned. Can you supply links providing evidence for his torture in prison?

    • Zvichapera

      “We established the principle of national reconciliation (at independence in 1980), they took it over and used it as a basis to create what they have now as the Rainbow Nation”.

      No Mr President, the principle of reconciliation was suggested by the British mediators and subsequently agreed by all parties at the Lancaster House talks. It was not a ZanuPF principle, please give us the correct version of events.

      In the case of SA, the principle of reconciliation was enunciated by none other than Nelson Mandela in an interview with ITV BEFORE he was sent to Robben island. ZanuPF did not hand over the principle to Mandela and this statement by Mugabe actually shows Mugabe is humbled if not belittled by Mandel’s stature as shown by the overwhelming send off he is getting. He is clearly rattled by the man’s popularity.

      • GeorgeBachinche

        No, no, no, The British did not come up with the principle of national reconciliation. As Far as records go, it was Mugabe’s statement in his first broadcast as PM. You might love the British so much but regrettably, they did not suggest a way forward between the African they had betrayed for so long, and their so called rebel kith and kin.

  • Edarmoc

    Interesting though is it not that the condolence message was all about “Mr Mandela” and today he is “Comrade Mandela”. Is it that the reportage on an apparent feud was too close to home?’

  • Mimi

    The fact that Mugabe is compared to Mandela speaks volumes. But be that as it may, Mugabe should now prove all and sundry wrong in what he does from now on and ever. Continue to be the principled individual that he is, unflinching, unrelenting, principled. And let him not mind what Zimbabwe’s detractors will continue to peddle in the Media. We who know Mugabe know him for sure and we shall not backpeddle. @Mutengesimukuru what you say cannot be true. Mugabe himself was imprisoned for the same reasons that Mandela was imprisoned for, so why on earth would he not wish Mandela to be released? Does this make sense.

    • Wolves Witches and Giants

      @Mimi. Is your support for “Our Beloved President” based on nostalgia, sentimental reasons or deeds for the country?

      A five minute cruise in Harare and a 5 minute chat with a regular Tindo or Fatso in Harare can rubbish what you believe.

      • rukudzo

        Harare is not Zimbabwe.

  • Ngoni

    Somehow there was a rift but not that big of course. I still remember on mandela’s retirement from politics someone uttered let Mandela be Mandela and Mugabe be Mugabe. Mandela does it the Mandela way and I do it the Mugabe way. This is what the media capitalize on.

  • che guevera

    It does not make any practical sense for Mugabe to have any feud with Mandela for various reasons:

    1. Mugabe fought a war and Mandela never>>>

    2. Mugabe led his country after independence while Mandela immediately retired as instructed by imperialists…

    3. Mugabe fought the second liberation struggle for Zimbabwe which saw land previously stolen by the PIGS come back to its owners like me!!! At that point Mandela was already enjoying being Hero worshiped by whites….

    4. Mugabe is now fighting for the economic independence of ZIMBABWE, which has seen the newly established endegenious companies like Mbada diamonds, Angin etc making the biggest contribution to the national budget for the first time in the national history, While Mandela was content with white supremacy….

    5. Mugabe is more popular in AFRICA, while Madiba is more popular in Europe and America!!!!


    • weAfrica

      I agree with you

    • Jekanyika M

      Akarwa hondo ipi, Tibvire apa. Isu tinoziva zvaiitika kuhondo takanyarara

    • denny

      Read about Samora Machel’s views on Mugabe.Mugabe could not even hold a gun at all,so which war did he fight?

    • mukwerekwere

      What war? Mugabe sat in an office Che while magandanga were in the theatres of war.

  • Pete

    Mandela did not regard Mugabe’s contemporary political life, highly. Prior to the unbanning of the ANC in February 1990, for sure, Zimbabwe played a good enough role. Post 1994, Mugabe was sometimes a pain to Mandela. Read what Mandela’s director-general, the late Jakes Gerwel wrote in the Star’s memory edition last week. Read what Mandela himself said in a meeting in his house in 2003 with George Bizos and David Coltart about Mugabe and the role that he, Mandela, would try to play, behind the scenes, as Zimbabwe’s economy was disintegrating and many Zimbabweans were fleeing across the border.

  • munhu mutapa

    Mandela is Mandela and Mugabe is Mugabe I love them for who they are.I don’t have a heart for Tsvangirai.


    The common denominator between President Mugabe and President Mandela is that they were made to suffer because they vigorously rejected being racially oppressed. That is a fact which should be in the skulls of those who wished for a feud. Let all the vatengesi be reminded that there is Nelson Mandela street which is one of the busiest in Harare. These comrades and many others were jailed and tortured for the same cause – being racially oppressed. The talk of the feud is a calculated attempt to divert attention from the main issue that former president was tortured, bullied, oppressed, dehumanized by racists and the same happened to our President Mugabe. The issue of all forms of racial oppression should be very topical at this event, not to divert our attention to an imagined feud. What feud? Long live comrade Mugabe for standing for us true and proud Africans.

  • The watcher

    Mandela did not invent reconciliation. Mugabe did. Maybe he thought he could be magnanimous in victory. Alas….

    • Zvazviri

      senge iwewe ibva wati zii

  • Paradza

    Contrary to what your President Mugabe said about his relatioship with Mandela, I would like to set on record that there was a big feud between the two. There are a lot of recorded statements where Mandela blamed Mugabe’s leadership and one of them is this one I quote below:- Mr Mandela said: ‘We watch with sadness the continuing tragedy in Darfur. Nearer to home we have seen the outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country and the tragic failure of leadership in our neighbouring Zimbabwe.’

  • People

    “MANDELA BIRTHDAY BLAST AT MUGABE; He says tyrant is a
    ‘tragic failure’.”

  • mandinzwa

    angabvuma zvakapusa kudaro ndiani. anodiwa ngaadiwe, asingadiwe haadiwe.

    • randomGuy

      Vanhu veZanu -PF will believe that and swear that its the absolute truth on their mother’s graves

      • Mukomuredhi weZanu

        Mapuruvheya tinokuzivai…makagara muripo uye mucharamba muripo asi hamufi makatonga nyika. Mimi ndeye umwe wevashoma vanoziva kuti President Mugabe is undoubtedly the greatest Pan Africanist on the African continent.Varungu ikozvino tarirai, varungu ndivo varikunyanya kuimba nziyo dzokurumbidza Mandela uye ndivo varikuridza mhere hombe yokumuchema Mandela…ichadi ichocho?…crocodile tears asi vachiziva kuti zvavo zvakaita—upfumi vanahwo…if you buy in to this you an idiot whose black mouth is used to talk hogwash by a white men.The whirl wind of Economic Freedom will still come to South Africa muchida musingadi.Ndipo pamuchaona kuti Mandela hongu akasakura asi akanga asingazunzi mapundo…ndapedza ini Cde Nhora muMukomuredhi weZanu.

      • Mukomuredhi weZanu

        Apa wakuma che guevera…Ndidzo Mhondoro dzatinoda idzi. Vaudze Cde Che vaudze!!!!! tuvatengesi tunotengesa nyika neshuga…

  • Listix

    Madiba, after his release from prison, was a beaten and broken man. He went in a warrior, in the prime of his life, proud, potent, and prepared.
    Alas, he came out an old man, surprisingly fit for a near geriatric who spent umpteen years breaking rocks and sleeping on concrete.
    By the time he was making his ill-advised, undiplomatic comments about President Mugabe, Madiba was old, one foot in the grave, senile, with fully diminished capacities, and an entourage who didn’t possess enough sense amongst them to keep him home, enjoying his twilight years, as per his final instructions in his retirement speech; “Don’t call me, I’ll call you”
    Rest in Peace, Madiba Rolihahla Mandela.

  • informer

    Finally Mathibbili has been humbled by Madiba’s popularity! Nyama inonaka inotaura yega.. you cant force people to genuinely love u!!

  • Mimi

    @Rukudzo zvako iwe, since when is Harare become Zimbabwe. And @ WekuHarare you do not have to be abusive to say your point. I love Zimbabwe for what it is and what it will be. There is nothing nostalgic in it.

  • Simba Murombedzi

    In my book differences in opinion do not constitute a feud