Church under fire for charging R89 000 (US$6000) to host Joe Mafela’s memorial


Grace Bible Church has again found itself on the Twitter trends list after allegedly charging Joe Mafela’s family R89 000 to host his memorial service on Thursday.

Actor Mangaliso Ngema shared on Twitter that he had visited Mafela’s family on Tuesday night when he was greeted with such “ridiculous” news.

He said when he contacted the church’s leader, Bishop Mosa Sono, to try to reach some sort of agreement, the pastor only offered a discount of R10 000.

“There was no deal as this is totally ridiculous. This is supposed to be a house of God serving the community. The memorial is now going to be held at the Joburg Theatre on Thursday,” said Ngema.


The church has been highly criticised following the news, while some have come to its defence. Those against its decision say it should be serving the community instead of trying to cash in at a time when Mafela’s family is in mourning.

Those who have defended it say that, like any other venue, the family should pay as it needs the money to maintain the building.

“They need to pay salaries, electricity bills and other expenses,” one has argued.

Some say the church was right in charging for the venue, unless Mafela was a member of the church, though they have admitted the fee appears very high.


The church is yet to respond.

Mafela passed away on Saturday night after being involved in a car accident at around 10pm on the M1 North between the Oxford and Houghton Road off-ramps in Johannesburg.

Check out some of the Twitter reactions below: