The government used taxpayers' money to bankroll the funeral of the late kwaito superstar Mandoza's despite offers of free services by service providers and music industry players.
It also allegedly paid twice for some of the services rendered.
The bailout, which was authorised despite Mandoza's family's public announcement that they did not want charity from anyone, has left some local musicians fuming and accusing the government of favouritism and wasting taxpayers' money.
Sunday World can exclusively reveal that the government spent a whopping R185000 towards the burial fees of the award-winning mega artist who died of brain cancer about two months ago.
The Gauteng department of arts and culture spent R90000 while the national Department of Arts and Culture splurged an extra R95000 towards the artist's funeral costs.
The provincial funds were paid into Grace Bible Church's account which rented out the church building to the family for the service.
The national funds were paid into the personal account of the muso's widow, Mpho Tshabalala.
Both payments included two different sound systems on the day of the funeral.
The one was at Grace Bible Church and another one supplied by an unknown service provider.
This despite kwaito king Arthur Mafokate offering to supply his sound system for free.
The government also paid for the undertaker despite B3 Funeral Services offering to bury the Nkalakatha hitmaker for free.
National Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) spokeswoman Lisa Combrinck confirmed they forked out R95000 towards Mandoza's funeral.
"As has been the case in the past where funds are available and at its discretion, the Department of Arts and Culture supported the funeral costs of the late Mduduzi Mandoza Tshabalala because of the immense contribution of Mandoza to South African music and in building social cohesion in particular, and specifically through kwaito.
"DAC's contribution was made to support a variety of costs related to the funeral services, including funeral undertaking, catering, sound, stage, printing to the amount of R95500," she said.
She confirmed the money was paid into his wife Mpho's personal account but denied there was double payment.
"At the request of the family, the funds were paid to Mandoza's spouse's account. The Department of Arts and Culture and the Gauteng department were working together and therefore there was no overlap in funding or 'double funding' as each contributed to different aspects of the funeral service[s]," she said.
The provincial department's spokeswoman Nomazwe Ntlokwana confirmed they shelled out R90000 into the church's account.
"We would like to confirm that on behalf of the Gauteng government it [the department] paid for the funeral venue, the Grace Bible Church in Soweto. An amount of R90000 has been paid to the church.
"The decision to assist was done following an agreement with the family on how the provincial government may assist with arrangements considering the numbers of people expected.
"The gesture to assist the Mandoza family is not unique only to the family and has been done before for many sport, arts and political icons in Gauteng among others," she said.
Bishop Mosa Sono confirmed they were paid R90000 by the provincial department for renting out their church building for the funeral service. "The Tshabalala family approached the Grace Bible Church for the utilisation of their Pimville church building for Mandoza's funeral. The executive management sought permission from the board as is the protocol and, after consideration, permission was granted.
"The family was then informed of the requirements for the use of the building and they agreed to standard terms and conditions presented to nonmembers and proceeded to use the building.
"As such we can't disclose details of our agreement with the family as it would be insensitive of Grace Bible Church to be involved in family matters so soon after the loss of their loved one," he said.
Sono confirmed a sound system was also included in the charge.
"Buildings have maintenance costs and the family was asked to cover the most minimal costs to use the building and the audiovisual equipment that included lighting, sound, cameras and the personnel. We need to highlight that for our members, we as Grace Bible Church do cover those costs but for community members we ask for the operational costs to be covered."
B3 Funeral Services had offered to bury Mandoza for gratis but his family rejected them and opted for Maziya Funeral Services .
The family said they preferred the relatively unknown undertaker because its boss Mothusi Maziya was a close family relative whose services they had used before.
Mafokate, who owns 999 Music, had donated his sound system for the memorial service at the Standard Bank Arena. He wanted to do the same for the funeral but was muscled out by organisers and family relatives. 999 Music manager Brian Mokoena said: "After donating the sound to the family for the memorial services, we wanted to donate them for the funeral as part of the ubuntu spirit but we were forced to pull out because there were too many hands involved and some people wanted to use Mandoza's funeral to revive their careers and take the limelight."
A musician who was close to the late Mandoza said he was against the government paying money for the funeral. "They could have used the money to pay for Mandoza's children's education instead. We have pulled our resources together to bury our colleagues before and we wanted to do the same here but people were just obsessed with monies."
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