Ramaphosa lightens the mood

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AFP

A screengrab taken from the SABC live feed shows ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa speaking during the funeral service of Nelson Mandela in Qunu. Photo: AFP/ SABC

Qunu - ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa lightened the mood at the state funeral of former president Nelson Mandela when he thanked Malawian president Joyce Banda for her tribute on Sunday.

"As we celebrate Madiba's life we also remember important concepts Madiba taught us - tolerance and forgiveness," Ramaphosa told mourners in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

"We have a running joke between officials in the ANC, president [Jacob Zuma] you don't say Malawi, deputy president [Ramaphosa] you don't say boers," he said as the crowd laughed.

Earlier this year, Zuma was left red-faced after making disparaging comments about roads in Malawi, while Ramaphosa came under fire for using threats of a return of the "boers" as a campaigning platform in Limpopo.

Ramaphosa on Sunday thanked Banda for her tribute to Mandela and for making it easy for everyone to say Malawi again.

"Today president Banda had freed everyone to say Malawi with great ease.

"President you can now say Malawi with the greatest of ease," he said, speaking to Zuma.

Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela held onto Zuma's hand as the two had a good giggle at Ramaphosa. - Sapa


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