Zimbabwe’s Incoming Leader Mnangagwa Departs South Africa

In this photo supplied by Government Communications and Information Services, (GCIS) former Vice-President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, left, shakes hands with South Africa President Jacob Zuma during a short visit, in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. Photo: Ntswe Mokoena, GCIS via AP

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the incoming leader of Zimbabwe, left South Africa for his home country on Wednesday, after a meeting with President Jacob Zuma.

Mr. Mnangagwa, 75, is to be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s new leader Friday, following Robert Mugabe‘s stunning resignation amid impeachment proceedings against him.

After meeting with Zuma in Pretoria, Mr. Mnangagwa went to Johannesburg’s Lanseria airport where he boarded a jet that took off for Harare. Mr. Mnangagwa is expected to arrive at Manyame Air Base in the capital, Harare, where crowds have already gathered.

Singing and cheering, several hundred people have gathered outside the air force base in anticipation of Mr. Mnangagwa’s arrival.

Some carried printed signs with images of Mr. Mnangagwa, suggesting a significant level of organization behind the jubilant turnout. Signs read “Welcome back, our hero” and “True to your word, you’re back. Welcome.”