Maponya funeral: Motsuenyane urges Nafcoc to stop infighting
Johannesburg - Dr Sam Motsuenyane has appealed to the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (Nafcoc) to put their differences aside and help build black business.
Speaking at the funeral of his long-term friend Dr Richard Maponya, Motsuenyane, who is the founding chairman of African Bank, said Nafcoc was failing their original mission because of infighting.
Maponya, who died last week at the age of 99, was a founding member and the first president of Nafcoc.
Motsuenyane said Nafcoc should convene a national conference where the different factions should elect new leadership and adopt a new constitution.
“I am personally aggrieved that Nafcoc, which Maponya and his compatriots worked hard to build up, is still struggling to build unity within their ranks. It is deeply disturbing.
“The members of Nafcoc at the time were not paying, they were sacrificing their time to build unity in the black community. Unfortunately, this is diminishing. I am appealing to members of the business community to seize the time to build unity in the black community. If they don’t do that, we will stay in poverty for a very long time,” he warned.
Motsuenyane said it was imperative to return Nafococ to its glory days.
The businessman who first met Maponya in 1954 said he didn’t expect his friend to die before him. “This is because he still looked healthy and strong,” Motsuenyane said.
“Our country has lost one of the leading businessmen. He acquired most of his interest and passion from a desire to learn and his need to become a noteworthy person in the world of business,” he said.
Earlier, media entrepreneur Felicia Mabuza-Suttle addressed the mourners that Maponya and his late wife Marina were her mentors while she grew up in Soweto.
“Papa is happy where he is,” Mabuza-Suttle said.
She reminisced on how they used to call the Maponya house the White House.
“My husband and I used to call papa for his birthday and sing for him. And he would jokingly say that we need singing lessons because we can’t sing,” said Mabuza-Suttle.
She said that growing up next to the Maponyas, she grasped the concept of "go big or go home".
Boniswa Maponya read the obituary.