EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: @EFFSouthAfrica/Twitter

Johannesburg - One of late former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe’s nephews on Thursday said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government was putting pressure on his family about the former leader’s funeral on Sunday.

Zimbabwe’s former indigenisation minister, Patrick Zhuwao, said Mugabe’s widow Grace had instructed him to release a statement that Mnangagwa was coercing the family on where he (Mugabe) should be buried.

“I call upon you, commander in chief (EFF leader Julius Malema) to help the family have the wishes of president Mugabe recognised,” Zhuwao said.

Addressing party supporters at a memorial service to honour Mugabe in Orlando, Soweto, Malema said former Zimbabwean cabinet minister Saviour “Tyson” Kasukuwere should be allowed to attend the funeral.

“We call on Mnangagwa and his regime to allow this comrade (Patrick Zhuwao) to go and bury his uncle,” Malema said.

Zhuwao is Mugabe’s nephew living in South Africa, and Zimbabwe’s former indigenisation minister.

Malema said “Mnangagwa must grant immunity to those who want to go and bury Mugabe”.

“It is logical for Tyson to bury Mugabe. Why is Mnangagwa threatened by the youth?” he asked.

“If Mnangagwa wanted progress, he would not be threatened by the youth, who now face concocted charges and persecution in their country,” Malema said.

Zhuwao is 52, and Kasukuwere turns 49 next month.

Zhuwao said he was a member of Zanu-PF’s politburo, but was expelled when Mugabe was ousted in 2017.

“Together with the comrades that are here, we chose to stand with (former) president Mugabe,” he said.

Zhuwao said his uncle’s family prevented Mugabe from watching the news, because they did not want him to see what was happening in the country after he was ousted. “Why do you want to pontificate over him? He was not wanted in Zanu-PF, he is wanted here in the EFF,” he said.

According to Zhuwao, Mugabe was not in hospital in Singapore until he was hospitalised in Singapore for five days before he died last Friday.

Political Bureau