Grace Bible Church has responded to the outcry over surcharging Joe Mafela’s family to secure a venue for the actor’s memorial service.
Former Generations actor Mangaliso Ngema revealed on social media that Grace Bible Church in Soweto had asked the family of late actor Joe Mafela to pay a whopping R89k to use their facilities for the memorial.
Ngema later went back to apologize for and deleted that post, saying;
“Friends and relatives, I need to make a public apology for posting about the Mafela family and Grace Bible church. I was not appointed spokesperson for the family and neither did I seek consent from them for posting. (sic).”
Apparently, he let his feelings get the best of him when he wasn’t supposed to speak about sensitive issues like this.
After deliberating on the matter, the church has finally responded to the uproar caused by Ngema’s post. In a press statement, the church explained in details how they charge people who seek to use their facilities.
Read the full statement below:
“Grace Bible Church is a non-profit organisation with church facilities in areas where it is operational. The facilities have been funded by the members and serves their needs.
Communities in which the organisation operates sometimes request to use the church facilities and their requests are handled by the facilities division. They then get quoted based on the request.
Grace Bible Church members are not charged for the use of the facilities.
The public has often requested the use of the facilities for memorials and funerals. As a church we only allow them to utilise the premises when they are available. They are required to pay for the overheads which include audio visual equipment and operators.
GBC reserves the right to discuss the terms with families and organisers as is standard with other facilities. We do not comment publicly on such issues, which can only be disclosed by organisers or families.”
Eventually, Joe Mafela’s memorial service was held at Joburg Theatre on Thursday, 23 March. His funeral will be held later this month.