Special funeral for Free State ex-premier
Bloemfontein - A special provincial official funeral has been approved for former Free State premier Winkie Direko, the presidency announced on Wednesday.
Direko, 82, died of a stroke on Friday.
Presidency spokesperson Harold Maloka said President Jacob Zuma decided, at the request of the Free State government, to declare a special provincial official funeral for Direko.
This kind of funeral is reserved for distinguished individuals as decided by the president upon a request from the province concerned.
Maloka said Zuma decided to declare the funeral because Direko, who served as a premier of the Free State between 1999 and 2004, had also distinguished herself as a community leader for many years.
The president had instructed that the national flag should fly at half-mast in the Free State on the day of the funeral.
A memorial service for Direko would be held at the Mangaung Indoor Sport Centre on Thursday at 14:00.
The funeral would be held at St Patrick’s Church on Saturday at 09:00, and she would be buried in the Heroes Acre at the Phahameng cemetery.
Direko was born in 1929 in Botshabelo, Bloemfontein. She was also a member of the National Council of Provinces from 1994 to 1999.
She was the Free State's third premier.