‘Save your mourning’ - Ramaphosa’s tribute to Shaleen Surtie-Richards receives cold reception

Veteran actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards died on Monday at the age of 66.
Veteran actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards died on Monday at the age of 66.
Image: Instagram/Shaleen Surtie Richards

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s tribute to late actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards has received a cold reception from many South Africans.

The veteran and much-loved actress died on Monday at the age of 66. 

She was found dead in the guest house in Cape Town in which she was staying during the filming of the TV series Arendsvlei

Her family offered information about what may have caused her death, saying she suffered from diabetes and heart problems. 

The family said while this was not confirmed as the official cause of death, they were awaiting information from the autopsy.

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa mourned her death and expressed condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late performer.

“We have lost a household performer whose distinctive energy, artistic versatility and humility touched generations of South Africans for more than three decades.

“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. 

Reacting to his condolences, actors Jack Devnarain, Masasa Mbangeni and Lizz Meiring criticised the president for not having signed the long-awaited Copyright Amendment Bill and Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill. 

Others shared how they would remember Shaleen and how she touched many people’s hearts in the TV and film industry.