Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe encouraged South African investment to his country, especially in the mining sector, but insisted that foreign investments must not have controlling interests in Zimbabwean companies.

Mugabe was speaking with South African President Jacob Zuma at a press conference on Wednesday in Pretoria during his state visit to South Africa.

Although Mugabe said he would welcome increased economic cooperation between the two southern African neighbors, he defended his government's indigenization policy which demands that foreign companies cede 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans. The policy is widely blamed for frightening away foreign investors.

This is Mugabe's first state visit to South Africa since 1994.

A Zimbabwean civic group, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said Mugabe's visit comes as Zimbabwe faces a political and economic crisis.