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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

UPDATE: R500k to eat with the president? – Nope, Ramaphosa ‘won’t be attending’ gala dinner

Dignitaries will include Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, leader Julius Malema, former CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Sello Hatang and actress Connie Ferguson.

R500 000.

That’s the price it apparently would cost to share a table with Cyril Ramaphosa this weekend as the Collen Mashawana Foundation (CMF) hosts a gala dinner, however his spokesperson Vincent Magwenya has clarified that the president won’t be in attendance.

Organisers initially told The Citizen that Ramaphosa would be attending the dinner, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre. But several hours later Magwenya clarified that Ramaphosa had turned down the invite.

“The president will not be attending this fundraiser. The invitation was turned down”.

There are four tables at which people can purchase a seat, including the Presidential Table which costs R500 000.

The Premier Table which charges patrons R250 000, hosted by VIP dignitaries; the Platinum Table that goes for R100 000, featuring a celebrity hosts and the Gold Table at R50 000 for an evening of networking and enjoyment.

The highest and lowest tables have already been sold out according to the organisers.

Individuals seeking to experience the exclusive ambiance can secure an individual seat at the gala for R6 000.

According to the statement from the foundation each ticket guarantees one a “memorable evening where every moment is an investment in humanity, engage with the distinguished speakers, and revel in the exceptional entertainment, knowing that your presence supports a larger vision of community growth and empowerment”.

The tickets will come with a three-course meal, drinks, entertainment, and branding opportunities.

“It’s not just an event; it’s an investment in the fabric of our nation.”

The gala will be hosted by JJ Tabane, Nandi Madida and Zandile Hopa while performances by Prince Kaybee, K.O and Lamiez Holworthy are also expected.

Watch international music star Akon give a shout to the foundation:

Dignitaries on the night will include Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, EFF leader Julius Malema, Lindiwe Zulu and former CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Sello Hatang and actress Connie Ferguson.

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CMF’s work

The CMF is an NGO founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Collen Mashawana, with an interest in the welfare of the elderly, those living with disabilities and child-headed households.

The Collen Mashawana Foundation has for the past 10 years been a self-funded organisation.  We really opened our doors only two years ago to start working with other sponsors and other partners,” said Mashawana in a recent interview with Newzroom Afrika. Mashawana is the chairperson of investment company, Afribiz Invest.

In 2021 the foundation launched the One Brick at a Time campaign, to help deal with the issue of housing for South Africans who can’t afford to shelter for themselves.

The foundation asked the public to donate and contribute a brick or bricks towards the building of a 100 homes.  

“Each brick will cost R2 000 and we are hoping to reach a target of 5 000 bricks, allowing us to build 100 homes for people in need,” Mashawana said at the time.

The foundation has gone on to build 500 houses over the years.

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