The tombstone unveiling of former government spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, in Pretoria garnered a lot of attention - but for the wrong reasons. Many social media users expressed mixed emotions about how lavish the ceremony was and how much was spent.
The event was attended by many politicians, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, who spoke at the function. Other senior government officials included Gauteng MEC for Health Dr Gwen Ramokgopa and Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
Mamoepa died in hospital at the age of 56 in July 2017 following a stroke. He worked as spokesperson and head of communications for then-Gauteng premier, Tokyo Sexwale, between 1994 and 1996. He later served as chief director: communication and spokesperson to then-president, Thabo Mbeki, and his deputy, Jacob Zuma, before becoming foreign affairs ministry spokesperson.
In 2014, Mamoepa was seconded to the Presidency by the Home Affairs Department and became spokesperson for Ramaphosa when he was deputy-president.
Social media users were at odds about the money spent to celebrate the dead. While others insisted that it was too much, many others said that it is a cultural norm to pull off lavish ceremonies for departed.
Thubelihle Khumalo said:
"Those cars belong to a company that was in charge of the ceremony, not one individual. Whatever design the tombstone is, is really not your business, the family knows why they wanted it to be like that. Why can't you let people live their lives in peace?"
While MitchellSkhosa1 argued:
"All that money used for an unveiling event, don’t they have living relatives who are struggling financially to help?"
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