David Phetoe's family fight to keep politics out of his funeral

06 February 2018 - 08:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Actor David Phetoe's funeral will be held in Johannesburg on Saturday morning.
Actor David Phetoe's funeral will be held in Johannesburg on Saturday morning.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Bongani Mnguni

The family of late acting veteran David Phetoe are adamant that they don't want politicians to hijack the star's funeral this week, telling TshisaLIVE that they want only family and industry friends to speak at the ceremony.

The former Generations and Sgudi 'Snaysi actor died in a Johannesburg hospital last week at the age of 85.

The star's brother Molefe told TshisaLIVE a memorial service for David would be held at the SABC Studios in Johannesburg on Wednesday February 7 from 11am, with a funeral service to follow on Saturday. He will then be buried alongside his wife at Avalon Cemetery in Lenasia.

Although the family is still ironing out the details of where the funeral service will be held, they confirmed it will be open to the public.

"He was a man of the people and we have to allow them to mourn his death with us. Everywhere he went, he touched people's hearts and he would have wanted them there. Besides there is nothing like a closed funeral in our culture. We shared him with the community and they must come."

Politicians and politically-connected celebrities have been criticised in the past for taking to the podium at funeral and memorials to steal the spotlight, and Molefe was adamant that the Phetoe family will not allow politics to take over the ceremony.

"He was a PAC member and they have not yet come forward to tell us they want to speak. The government haven't come forward either. We don't want to make it a political thing. We will allow them if they say they are speaking for the industry but David was a simple man, he would not want politics at the funeral."

Molefe said the Phetoe family had been inundated with visits to the house from fans and friends, including Joe Mafela's son and Generations creator Mfundi Vundla.

"He came past and paid his condolences. He asked if he could assist with anything. It meant a lot to us because Joe and David were quite close. Also Mfundi (Vundla) came passed to offer his support. People feel our loss and it is hard for them to surrender him."