‘I’m sorry Josias had to conceal his identity to live in SA’

Graca Machel spoke at the memorial service for Emmanuel Josias in Alexandra this afternoon.

Graca Machel speaks at the memorial service for Emmanuel Josias in Alexandra on 29 April 2015. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The former first lady of Mozambique, Graca Machel, has extended her condolences to the family of slain Zimbabwean Emmanuel Josias at his memorial service held in Alexandra.

The 25-year-old vendor was stabbed to death in full view of community members in Alexandra two weeks ago.

Speaking to the deceased, Machel said, "Sorry my son that you had to conceal your identity in order to live in South Africa."

#EmmanuelJosias The program of today's proceedings. TK pic.twitter.com/kYJFaBxgQj

His murder coincided with the latest spate of xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng which claimed the lives of at least seven people.

The memorial service was attended by several dignitaries, including Machel.

She poured her heart out to the people of South Africa, saying she is in tremendous pain.

Machel says the actions of some citizens are inexcusable and have shamed the country.

She called on South Africans to dig deeper and address the social ills that have been instilled by the former apartheid regime.

#EmmanuelJosias Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel has arrived here at East Bank Hall for the memorial. TK pic.twitter.com/hwWTu8r66L

#EmmanuelSithole Machel says she personally knows what it's like to lose a husband in a violent situation. pic.twitter.com/78FPRFGeLC

#EmmanuelSithole Machel: People have questioned if these attacks are indeed Xenophobic. "Yes they are" she says unequivocally. VM

#EmmanuelSithole Machel: To Africans borders are meaningless. Emmanuel Sithole is a citizen of Southern Africa, whole region is in mourning.

#EmmanuelSithole Machel: Everyone in this region should move freely, yet we hang on to these borders that were imposed on us. VM

Machel says she has been deeply hurt by the actions of some South Africans over the past few weeks.

She was met by the Mozambican High Commissioner to South Africa, Fernando Fazenda.

Machel told mourners she is not a South African but rather an African. She urged everyone to adopt the same sense of unity.

The City of Johannesburg announced it will be covering the funeral costs as well as the repatriation of Josias's body.

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau told mourners that government was working tirelessly to stem the tide of xenophobia.

WATCH: Emmanuel Josias's family: His birthplace killed him

Josias's family also paid a moving tribute, saying the young Mozambican man was an innocent vendor making an honest living in South Africa.