“All kinds of rumours are flying around as to the cause of death which is why would like to emphasise that Surtie-Richards did not commit suicide.”
THE SURTIE family has expressed great sadness and utter shock at the passing of the legendary actress and Upington-born television personality Shaleen Surtie-Richards.
Family spokesperson, artist and producer Alistair Izobell said they were still trying to process the news.
In an official statement he indicated that the family were awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
The award winning actress was found dead in a guesthouse in Cape Town on Monday June 7, where she was staying to film the Arendsvlei television series.
He indicated that Surtie-Richards had not committed suicide.
“It is common knowledge that she suffered from diabetes and heart problems. Her death might be related to this, but the family awaits an autopsy as to the cause of death. All kinds of rumours are flying around as to the cause of death which is why would like to emphasise that Surtie-Richards did not commit suicide.
“We have lost a sister, an aunt, a cousin and a niece. We are trying to process, come to terms with the news and to still our broken hearts. We understand that she was not only in our hearts but in the hearts of this great nation. We thank you for the love, support and respect as we prepare for her final curtain call,” he said.
The Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa paid tribute to Surtie-Richards and expressed condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.
“Shaleen invested her heart and soul into every character she portrayed. Her warmth and sense of humour were infectious and her talent won her international recognition. We will remember her with great fondness for her iconic roles in hit films such as Fiela se Kind, Mama Jack, Treurgrond and Vaselinetjie. Most recently, she starred in the KykNet series, Arendsvlei. She turned every role she touched into an audio-visual masterpiece.”