SOUTH Africa's opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema says President Emmerson Mnangagwa should allow expelled senior Zanu PF members who are in self-imposed exile to return to Zimbabwe and attend the burial of former President Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe (95) died last Friday at a private hospital in Singapore and has been declared a national hero. His burial has been set for his rural Zvimba home.
A handful former senior Zanu PF officials and government ministers who constituted the once pro-Mugabe camp fled into exile after the long serving leader was removed from office in a military-led coup in 2017.
The officials include; Robert Mugabe's nephew Patrick Zhuwao, Saviour Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo, Walter Mzembi and Mandi Chimene.
The former ministers were part of the G40 faction that was resisting then Vice President Mnangagwa's bid to replace Mugabe as president.
They have not returned to Zimbabwe and fear persecution if they attended Mugabe's burial.
Zhuwao and Kasukuwere Thursday attended an EFF memorial service held for Mugabe in Johannesburg where Malema pleaded with Mnangagwa to allow Mugabe's close associates a chance to bury the once powerful former Zimbabwean leader.
"We have Tyson (Kasukuwere) here but he can't go to Zimbabwe and bury Mugabe because he is wanted. We call upon Mnangagwa allow Patrick Zhuwao, who is Mugabe's nephew to bury his uncle," Malema told his party's supporters.
"If they don't want them in Zimbabwe after the burial, they can release them and we will accept them. Even during the Apartheid era, detainees were allowed to attend funerals and return back to prison after. We are making an appeal that they should be allowed to attend."
Malema has revealed he was attending Mugabe's funeral ceremony in Zimbabwe on Saturday.
The EFF leader said he saw nothing wrong with G40 members' ambitions in replacing Mugabe as President.
"It was only logical for Tyson to succeed Mugabe. Why is Mnangagwa scared of the youths? If you have someone who is scared of the youth, he is against progress. You must make no apologies. It is your right to support Mugabe," said Malema.
He added that the criminal charges the G40 members are facing were concocted adding that he also once went through such smear campaign when he was removed as the ANC youth league leader.
"These are concocted charges because you (Mnangagwa) are threatened by the youths. I went through that. In fact, I am going through that. They took everything, threw my kids in the streets. I know what you are going through every morning you wake up," said Malema.