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Homeless and in a wheelchair at 63

Zolile Ncapayi is 63 and unable to walk. He progressively lost the use of his legs over 30 years ago.

R89k quote for Joe Mafela's memorial service to be held at Grace Bible Church

By Julia Madibogo | 2017-03-23 09:00:45.0

The family of late actor Joe Mafela was left flabbergasted when Grace Bible Church allegedly gave them a R89000 quote to use their venue for his memorial service.

Mafela died in a car accident on Saturday night aged 75.

The news was shared by actor Mangaliso Ngema on his Facebook page yesterday following a meeting between the family and the church.

"We visited the Joe Mafela home last night to pay our respects. I was shocked to learn that Grace Bible Church, in Soweto, wanted a fee of R89000 for the memorial," he said. "When the head pastor [Musa] Sono was consulted, he offered a R10k discount. Needless to say, there was no deal as this is totally ridiculous. This is supposed to be 'a house of God' serving the community."

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Ngema said the family and the church did not come to an agreement, leading to an alternative venue, The Joburg Theatre, being secured for free by the family. Mafela's son Jimmy told Sowetan that the meeting took place between family representatives and the church.

"I didn't attend that meeting, in particular. I don't know much on the dynamics . I just heard that the price was something along the range of R100000," he said.

Sono said: "Kindly note that as GBD [Grace Bible Church] we don't comment on arrangements between people seeking to use our facilities for memorial services. The Mafela family will be best placed to give you a response."

Political parties pay glowing tribute to Joe Mafela 

The church has in the past hosted memorials of popular figures such as S'fiso Ncwane, Lundi Tyamara and Mandoza.

Mafela will be buried in a civic funeral in Johannesburg on Wednesday. The honour is bestowed by the city on citizens who made an invaluable contribution to its residents.

Meanwhile, Gauteng premier David Makhura and MEC for sports, arts and culture Faith Mazibuko visited Mafela's house in Kew, northern Johannesburg, yesterday.