Request for special provincial funeral for Shaleen Surtie-Richards

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Shaleen Surtie-Richards
Shaleen Surtie-Richards
Photo: Gallo Images
  • Premier Alan Winde and the Surtie family have requested a special provincial funeral for actor Shaleen Surtie-Richards.
  • 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".
  • Speaking to Channel24, Surtie family spokesperson Alistair Izobell said: "We believe that Shaleen has been an advocate, ambassador and a voice for the coloured community throughout South Africa as to what can be accomplished, as well as an inspiration to many aspiring actresses."

Premier Alan Winde will write to President Cyril Ramaphosa to request a special provincial funeral for Shaleen Surtie-Richards. 

The celebrated South African actor died on Monday at the age of 66. 

The Premier's Office consulted with Shaleen's family on Wednesday, who supported this request. 

In a statement to Channel24, Surtie family spokesperson Alistair Izobell said: "The family has contacted the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, requesting the awarding of a Provincial send-off (funeral) to which has the full support of the creative community whom all wish to recognise and acknowledge the accomplishments of an inspiration."

We believe that Shaleen has been an advocate, ambassador and a voice for the coloured community throughout South Africa as to what can be accomplished, as well as an inspiration to many aspiring actresses, including being instrumental in ensuring that the young female coloured community know that any and all goals can be reached through dedication and hard work.
-- Alistair Izobell

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".  

Surtie-Richards, who was born in Upington and raised in Cape Town, was a champion of the arts. During her career, she won more than 40 awards and acted in numerous movies and festivals in South Africa and London.

The beloved actor will always be known for her starring role in Egoli: Place of Gold as Ester (Nenna) Willemse. She also received acclaim for her role as Fiela Komotie in the movie Fiela Se kind.

Shaleen also brought her versatility to the stage. She performed in various plays, including Hallo en Koebaai and Shirley Valentine. She won Fleur du Cap awards in 1985 and 2009, respectively.

ALSO READ | 4 memorable performances by Shaleen Surtie-Richards

Premier Winde said: "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."

Should the president assent to the request, support will be made available for the funeral service on Sunday, 13 June at Durbanville Memorial Park, Cape Town, at 14:30. 

Covid-19 protocols will be observed, limited attendance to the proceedings will be in place. However, the service will broadcast via a live stream on various digital platforms or the national broadcaster. Further details to be released later this week.

ALSO READ | The final curtain falls on the life of Shaleen Surtie-Richards: A tribute to a South African icon

ALSO READ | Shaleen Surtie-Richards TV tribute plans: Fiela, a documentary and more this week


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