Ramaphosa hails Maponya as visionary, soldier

Ramaphosa hails Maponya as visionary, soldier

President Cyril Ramaphosa says tycoon Richard Maponya managed to establish himself during an era when it was almost impossible for black people to do business.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at Richard Maponyas funeral

Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy at Maponya’s funeral in Johannesburg on Tuesday.


Maponya died at the age of 99 on Monday last week following a short illness.


Ramaphosa told mourners that the country lost a resilient man who managed to rise above adversity.


“Today we bid a sad farewell to a man of extraordinary resilience, who rose above his circumstances and persevered until he reached a pinnacle of success, and yet he remained humble, magnanimous and generous.


“Fifty years ago if it could have been said that a black husband and wife team could build a business empire many people would have laughed at it, yet Richard and Marina Maponya did it.”


'He was there yesterday, he's gone today' - Roy Maponya

Speaking on behalf of the siblings, his son Roy Maponya said when his wife passed away the tycoon almost lost his passion for business. "It made him sad, resulting in him nearly losing the drive we come to know him for. Today he is joining her in their last resting place.

He described Maponya as larger than life.


"A man who has left such a deep impact on all those who got know him. He was truly a man who lived for others.


"He was a business person, yes, but he was driven by the conviction that South Africa would never truly free until the fruits of prosperity were shared by all its people.


"South Africa has indeed lost a visionary business leader who continued with his visionary talent right up to his last days. We have lost the most outstanding entrepreneur".


Ramaphosa further described Maponya as a soldier who faced adversity and overcame it.


“He was a soldier not of a battlefield but in the frontline of the economic emancipation. He stared adversity in the face and always found a way around it, below it and even above it.


"Our dear father has been called to his maker. Through his struggle and success, he forever changed the face of business in South Africa."

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