Madiba wanted a better life for all: Maponya - CNBC Africa

Madiba wanted a better life for all: Maponya


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South African businessman, Richard Maponya. PHOTO: YoMzansi

“I remember when I visited him just a few weeks before he was to be released, I asked him, ‘What would you like us to do when you are released because we are all angry [over] what Apartheid did [to] us’. He said, ‘You don’t have to be angry. I am just cross that this government took so many years before they could see my point of view,” Maponya told CNBC Africa.

“He wanted everybody to have a better life and I don’t know what we can do to really declare war on poverty so that we can bring every South African to a middle-class standard. That, to me, would be something that would make Madiba rest in peace because that was his greatest concern.”

Maponya was speaking today after news broke that former South African President, Nelson Mandela, passed away on Thursday, the 5th of December 2013.

Maponya, a South African entrepreneur and property developer best known for building a business empire despite the restrictions of Apartheid, revealed his heart ache upon hearing the news.

“When I got the news that Madiba is no more, it drew a tear out of my eye – South Africa has lost one of the greatest sons ever born in this country. A model, an icon of South Africa, an icon of the world,” he said.