As crowds cheer and welcome their new British King Charles III at Buckingham Palace in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, more South Africans have been reacting to her death.
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema likened expressing sympathy for the British royal family to celebrating colonialism.
Malema addressed a rally outside the Office of the Public Protector on Friday.
Queen Elizabeth, who was affectionately known to her family and close friends as ‘Lillibet’, died at Balmoral castle in Scotland at the age of 96.
Malema formed part of opposition political party leaders who marched on the Office of the Public Protector, demanding the release of a report into allegations of criminality by President Cyril Ramaphosa related to a burglary at his Phala Phala farm.
Malema, who gave the longest speech at the demonstration lashed out at the late British monarch.
“By mourning and praising the queen, you are celebrating colonialism; you are no different from Helen Zille.”
Malema said the British royal family was good for nothing while urging the United Kingdom (UK) to prioritise reparations to its former colonies.
‘NATION’S GREATEST DIPLOMAT’
UK Prime Minister Liz Truss said the late British queen was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.
Truss met the queen during the week in Scotland when she was appointed prime minister.
On Friday, she spoke at a sitting of both houses of Parliament where Members of Parliament honoured the life of their queen.
“She was the nation’s greatest diplomat. Her visits to post-apartheid South Africa and the Republic of Ireland show her unique ability to transcend difference and heal division. In total, she visited well over 100 countries [and] she met more people than any other monarchy in our history.”
The official gun salute in tribute to the queen of the British’s death began at 2pm on Friday in Hyde Park, London.
The salute fired shots every 10 seconds, 96 times to signify every year the queen was alive.