Shaleen Surtie-Richards. Picture: Loureeze Pienaar
Shaleen Surtie-Richards. Picture: Loureeze Pienaar

Shaleen Surtie-Richards's family call for state funeral

By Alyssia Birjalal Time of article published Jun 9, 2021

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The family of TV, film and theatre actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards have called on the South African Presidency to give her a state send-off.

The icon was found dead on Monday, June 7, at a guest house in Cape Town, where she was filming scenes for kykNet’s “Arendsvlei”.

Appointed family spokesperson and local musician Alistair Isobell said the family had contacted the Presidency requesting a provincial send-off.

“The family has contacted the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, requesting the awarding of a provincial send-off to which has the full support of the creative community whom all wish to recognise and acknowledge the accomplishments of an inspiration,” said Isobell.

While they await the Presidency’s response, he said that Surtie-Richards’s funeral has been set for Sunday, June 13 at 2.30pm at Durbanville Memorial Park in Cape Town.

Due to the global pandemic and lockdown restrictions, attendees will be limited, but Surtie-Richards fans will be able to stream the ceremony.

Isobell said the family had not only lost a loved one but a beloved member of the South African community, who was not only a veteran of our creative industry but a legend that had a legacy spanning decades.

“Surtie-Richards has been an advocate, ambassador and a voice for the coloured community throughout SA 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.”

In a statement issued by President Cyril Ramaphosa on June 7, he paid tribute to the educator-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.

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