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Ramaphosa declares special official funeral for Richard Maponya

Richard Maponya.
Richard Maponya.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday declared a special official funeral for business icon Richard Maponya.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said the president declared a special official funeral category 2 for Maponya who will be buried on Tuesday.

“The President has instructed that the National Flag fly at half-mast from Friday 10 January 2020 until the evening of the burial,” Diko said. Ramaphosa described the Maponya name as “a veritable institution in our public life, standing for excellence and inspiring generations of South Africans”.

Maponya died on Monday morning in hospital at the age of 99. His death came not long after Ramaphosa sent him a birthday message in December.

Born in Tlhabini, a village outside Lenyenye in Limpopo, Maponya married Marina, a qualified social worker and the cousin of former president Nelson Mandela, in the 1950s.

After joining forces, the two became a power couple that propelled the family business into a general dealer, eatery, butchery, liquor stores and supermarket, car dealership and filling station.

For his efforts, he has scooped several awards.

In April 2015, the Durban University of Technology awarded him with an honorary doctorate.

He has scooped various awards including the Small Business Excellence Award (2007), World Enterprise Award (2008), was a recipient of the Top 100 Companies Award: Business Times (2008), Lifetime Achievement Award and a BEE Entrepreneur Award.

Last year, he became the second person to win the Lifetime Achiever Award, which is the highest accolade in the 30-year-old Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

A memorial service for the late businessman will be held in Sandton on Friday.

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