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Cape Town – Friends and family will say their final goodbyes to Shaleen Surtie-Richards today in Durbanville where she will receive a special provincial funeral.
Surtie-Richards died on Monday at a Cape Town guest house. Born in Upington and raised in Cape Town, Surtie-Richards, 66, is best known for her roles in Egoli: Place of Gold and Fiela se Kind, among other TV shows, films and theatre productions.
She was been granted a Category 2 Special Provincial Funeral by the presidency. The request was made to the government earlier this week by Surtie-Richards’s family and Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.
Flags are flying at half-mast across the province in honour of legendary stage and screen actress. Surtie-Richards will be laid to rest at the Durbanville Memorial Park, in Cape Town.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mtwethwa and his Western Cape Arts and Culture MEC, Anroux Marais, joined family representatives in Durbanville for for a flag-raising ceremony at the local police station.
According to the policy for state funerals, Category 2 Special Provincial Funerals may be held for “distinguished persons specifically designated by the President of South Africa on request by the Premier of a province”.
Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions, attendees will be limited, but Surtie-Richards fans can pay last respects by watching the procession on TV.
President Cyril Ramaphosa paid tribute to the teacher-turned-performer.
“We have lost a household performer whose distinctive energy, artistic versatility and humility touched generations of South Africans for more than three decade.
“On stage and screen Shaleen Surtie-Richards held a mirror to our unjust past and gave us hope for our future as a nation.
“May her soul rest in peace,” said Ramaphosa.