Nkalakatha hitmaker Mduduzi “Mandoza” Tshabalala was laid to rest on Friday at Johannesburg’s Westpark Cemetery after a moving funeral service at the Grace Bible Church in Soweto.
Mandoza was buried next to other icons, among them Gugu Zulu, Flabba, Simba Mhere and Eddie Zondi.
The late kwaito legend’s funeral service was a fitting send-off filled with touching tributes from those close to him.
The fallen kwaito star, who wore many hats throughout his life, and meant different things to those around- but one thing that was evident was that he united people from all walks of life.
Speaking at the funeral service Mandoza’s widow, Mpho promised to keep her husband’s legacy alive and thanked the nation for the overwhelming support that she has received during this difficult time.
“It’s been 18 years now, I love him and I will love him till I die. I know he will send me a ball of fire from heaven and I will raise our children,” she said.
Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng was among those who were paying the last respect to the kwaito maestro, but was lambasted in local media after he appeared to hijack the service to promote his views on thre SABC’s content management policies.
Reports said Motsoeneng started his speech by explaining to the public why he decided on a 90% quota for SABC radio stations.
The he went on about issues around his position, basically telling the mourners that nobody was going to decide his life for him. “It’s not over for Hlaudi Motsoeneng and that he will continue making a difference at the SABC whether he is an ordinary employee or COO,” Motsoeneng said, much to the surprise of the mourners.
Motsoeneng was sitting next to SA’s Minister of Communication Faith Muthambi and the two could be seen laughing and dancing to some of Mandoza’s songs played in the venue.
William Bird, Executive Director Media Monitoring said is was unusual to speak boardroom politics at funerals and it would be damaging if the board of the SABC were to reappoint Motsoeneng as COO.
He added that Motsoeneng’s words at Mandoza’s funeral showed that he clearly did not believe he was accountable to anyone.
People’s poet, Mzwakhe Mbuli was also roundly condemned on Twitter for, among other things, being a “bad” programme director and using the platform to praise the SABC at the funeral.
He was likened to an uncle who always caused trouble and says things that leave family members uncomfortable at gatherings.
Twitter users watching the funeral took out their frustrations on the social media platform, calling for his Mbuli’s mic to be cut off.
Speaking at the funeral, Mbuli slammed people who commented on Mandoza’s weight and, when the singer was still alive, spread rumours that he had died when, in fact, it was false. He said those people must pray and apologise to God.
He further slammed those who said the SABC Thank You concert was empty, saying it was an insult to Mandoza.
“Mandoza did not perform at an empty stadium. You must apologise for that too,” he said.
Other Twitter users were not impressed with Mbuli for cutting off other speakers.