President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared an official funeral for the late business leader Dr Richard Maponya.
In a statement released announcing a Special Official Funeral Category 2 for Maponya, Ramaphosa lauded Maponya as a symbol of excellence:
“While expressing condolences to the Maponya family and to friends and colleagues, President Ramaphosa said the Maponya name is a veritable institution in our public life, standing for excellence and inspiring generations of South Africans.”
In addition to the special funeral, Ramaphosa has ordered that the national flag should fly at half-mast from Friday until the burial.
The funeral is expected to take place in Johannesburg on Tuesday, a fitting final farewell for the beloved champion of employment opportunities.
We reported that Maponya had passed away after a short battle with an unknown illness, just days after his 99th birthday.
Mandla Sibeko, speaking on behalf of the Maponya family, commented on his passing that:
“He leaves a legacy of black excellence, a legacy of hard work… he was the kind of man that woke up every day. He’d always said that he would work until the last days of his life.”
Following the businessman’s death, an outpouring of tributes signalled the true power of Maponya’s dedication to uplifting the nation.
Despite his old age, Maponya had been ruthlessly dedicated to creating job opportunities for the nation. The businessman had been outspoken in this regard for decades, seeking to train citizens with a special school to develop skills.
While the fate of this school is now in question after his death, the nation will have the opportunity to give the iconic man the send-off he deserves.