Mugabe and Zulu bury the hatchet

President Robert Mugabe has apologised for calling Lindiwe Zulu a “street woman”.

Zimbabwe's President and Zanu PF Presidential candidate Robert Mugabe. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has apologised to President Jacob Zuma's International Relations Adviser Lindiwe Zulu after calling her a "street woman".

Mugabe also told Zuma to make Zulu "shut up" after she questioned that country's readiness to hold free and fair elections in July.

The 89-year-old reportedly apologised for his utterances over the weekend.

Zulu told the Midday Report's Stephen Grootes that she was pleasantly surprised by the apology.

"At the SADC [South African Development Community] Summit in Malawi, one of the meetings where I wasn't in attendance, I was informed that President Mugabe raised the issue and indicated that there were certain things that were said which shouldn't have been said.

"But on the following day of the summit, my president [Zuma] also took me to President Robert Mugabe where, if I may say, we closed that chapter.

"I think that in as far as President Mugabe is concerned in this particular instance, honestly he acted like a statesman because there was no pressure whatsoever on him to do that. I was pleasantly surprised because it had been something that had not been sitting very well with me."

Zulu said she was relieved the whole saga was now behind her.

"It's in the interest of South Africa and Zimbabwe that we do not have such things happening. We also do understand that in politics and in our engagements some of these things will happen. It's important then whoever made a mistake realizes the mistake and is man enough to apologise."