Zimbabwe's incoming president Emmerson Mnangagwa makes a speech during his first public appearance after returning to the country. Picture: Xinhua/Shaun Jusa

Cape Town  - South African Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele will represent President Jacob Zuma at the inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa as Zimbabwe president in Harare on Friday.

In a statement, the Presidency said Zuma will be hosting Angola President João Manuel Lourenço on a State visit which clashes with the inauguration.

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The Presidency added that Zuma had already congratulated President-elect Mnangagwa and wished him well during a meeting in Pretoria on Wednesday, ahead of his return to Harare.

Zuma also extended his good wishes to former President Robert Mugabe and emphasised that "his contribution to the liberation of the Southern African region and the decolonisation of the continent in general will always be acknowledged and celebrated".

Mugabe resigned this week after 37 years following a military takeover last week and increased calls for his resignation.