The former president of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, has described the iconic businessman, Dr Richard Maponya, as one who created opportunities for success.

He was speaking at his funeral service at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus on Tuesday.

Maponya passed away last Monday at the age of 99. He will be buried at the Westpark Cemetery.

Watch the funeral live: 

Dignitaries, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, former heads of state and ministers, are attending the special official funeral, Category 2.

Buthelezi says Maponya’s legacy will continue to live on.

“Dr Maponya cared about politics, but politics was never his first love. His passion was of course business and that is where he truly excelled. The legacy he created is visible, as one travels through Soweto. The evidence of Dr Maponya is evident, not only in the buildings and infrastructure but in the spirit of entrepreneurship which he built. To say he was successful would downplay his achievements. It is one thing to take advantage of opportunities that exist, but it is another to create opportunities where there are none.”

‘Our nation, people loved him so dearly’

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura has praised the iconic businessman as one who was respected and revered nationally and globally.

“Our nation and people loved him so dearly. Our government, both at national and provincial level, honoured him with a service of awards. Black business people, young and old, men and women, revered him. Global business respected him. Scholars and students of business studies and leadership were always thirsty for his knowledge and wisdom as a walking encyclopaedia of entrepreneurship.”

‘Exercise Ubuntu’

Businesswoman and former Talk Show host, Felicia Mabuza-Suttle, has urged prospective entrepreneurs to follow their dreams – in the way Dr Richard did.

Mabuza-Suttle says people need to exercise Ubuntu – a value that Maponya embraced.

“He said, get into business with people who have the same values and mission as you do, and he did with his wife and children. He said be persistent and never give up on your dreams. Work to the last day, and he did. He said invest back into the community that you serve, do I need so say more? Maponya Mall and his dealerships are typical examples of someone who invested back. And finally, have Ubuntu.”