Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says he will be requesting a special provincial funeral for veteran actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards from President Cyril Ramaphosa.
According to Winde, he would be writing a letter Ramaphosa requesting a category 2 special provincial funeral after getting support from Surtie-Richards’ family.
“The nation has a lost a giant who will be remembered for her immense talent and contributions to our creative industry”.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time and look forward to a positive response to our request from President Ramaphosa,” he said.
Shaleen Surtie-Richards’ funeral
According to the policy for state funerals, category 2 special provincial funerals might be held for “distinguished persons specifically designated by the president of South Africa on request by the premier of a province”.
Surtie-Richards, 66, was found dead in a guesthouse in Cape Town on Monday.
Earlier on Tuesday, her family said her funeral would take place at Durbanville Memorial Park on 13 June 2021.
Cause of death unknown
Shaleen Surtie-Richards family members have slammed rumours that she had taken her own life.
“All kinds of rumours are flying around as to the cause of death which is why we would like to emphasise that Ms Surtie-Richards did not commit suicide.”
Although her cause of death remains unknown, her family explained that it is common knowledge that she suffered from diabetes and heart problems.
“Her death might be related to this but the family awaits an autopsy as to the cause of death.”
Legacy and career
The Cape Town-born actress won more than 40 awards and acted in numerous movies and festivals in South Africa and London.
She will always be remembered for her starring role in Egoli: Place of Gold as Ester “Nenna” Willemse.
Surtie-Richards also received acclaim for her role as Fiela Komotie in the movie Fiela se Kind.
Additional reporting by Kaunda Selisho.