WATCH LIVE | Funeral service for Shaleen Surtie-Richards

Shaleen Surtie-Richards is being laid to rest today.

Family and friends have gathered at Durbanville Memorial Park in Cape Town to bid farewell to iconic actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards. 

The veteran actress was found dead in a guest house in Cape Town on June 7 where she was staying during the filming of the TV series Arendsvlei

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday approved the request for Shaleen to be honoured with a category 2 Special Provincial Funeral. 

Earlier this week the president extended his condolences to Shaleen's family, friends and colleagues. 

“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,” he said. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, fans have been encouraged to pay their final respects by watching the funeral service virtually. 

Taking to Twitter on Sunday morning, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa announced he had joined the late icon's family and the SAPS for the half-masting of the national flag at the Durbanville police station. 

Family spokesperson Alistair Isobell said the family had decided to request the provincial send-off due to the important role Shaleen played in the coloured community and creative industry as a whole.  

“We believe that Shaleen 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," he said in a statement.