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Hundreds gather to bid final farewell to Dr Richard Maponya

The business community, politicians, academics and ordinary South Africans arrived to pay their final respects to Maponya.

The funeral service of Dr Richard Maponya at the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus on 14 January 2020. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of people gathered at the UJ campus in Soweto to bid farewell to the late businessman Richard Maponya.

He died last week following a short illness.

He was 99.

The business community, politicians, academics and ordinary South Africans arrived to pay their final respects to the man affectionately known as the grandfather of black business.

Maponya was born in Limpopo on 24 December 1920 and died just a few days after his 99th birthday.

His career as a pioneering entrepreneur spanned over 50 years.

Several dignitaries arrived for Maponya’s funeral service, including Gauteng Premier David Makhura, the IFP’s Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Deputy Higher Education Minister Buti Manamela.

Former Cope leader Mbhazima Shilowa says South Africa has lost a giant.

“He’s one of the people who picked himself up from the difficulties under apartheid, yet he was able to survive and make a business.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the eulogy before the funeral procession heads to the West Park Cemetery.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)