Lerato Maimela
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
10 Jun 2021
3:09 pm

‘She simply had no money to go to hospital’ – Liz Meiring on Shaleen Surtie-Richards’ death

Lerato Maimela

Many commented that if the Performers Protection Amendment Bill had been signed into law, she would have been able to afford better healthcare.

Shaleen Surtie-Richards. Picture: Instagram

On 7 June, the South African Presidency’s Twitter page posted that President Cyril Ramaphosa mourned the death of veteran actress and performer Shaleen Surtie-Richards.

However, South Africans did not receive the post well.

Many said that if the president had signed the Performers Protection Amendment Bill, the actress would have been better off by benefitting from royalties owed to her.

President @CyrilRamaphosa mourns passing of veteran performer Shaleen Surtie-Richards

The Performers Protection Amendment Bill amends the outdated Performers Protection Act of 1967, and specifically targets gaps in the old legislation that did not provide for, among others, the economic and moral rights of actors.

Liz Meiring, an actress and management member of the Theatre Benevolent Fund that helps to support struggling industry workers, said on Tuesday that Surtie-Richards went to go see a doctor in Cape Town because she fell extremely ill.

ALSO READ: Shaleen Surtie-Richards: WC premier to request special provincial funeral

“She saw a doctor in Cape Town because she was so ill. He wanted to book her into a hospital immediately. She simply had no money. That’s the horrible truth. If she had been paid her meagre royalties for all the rebroadcasts of her incredible body of work, she would have been able to,” Meiring said on social media.

Actress Masasa Mbangeni spoke out on the unfair treatment that actors receive in South Africa.

The actress said Surtie-Richards could have lived a good life and retired at her age if the president had signed the bill, which would have allowed Shaleen and other actors to receive royalties for television shows and programmes they starred in and which have been repeated and rebroadcast.

“On her royalties alone she could have retired and lived well. Please save your mourning,” Masasa said.

Some Twitter reactions from citizens who share the same sentiments as Masasa Mbangeni:

Surtie-Richards’ funeral will take place on Sunday at the Durbanville Memorial Park in Cape Town at 2.30pm.

The funeral will be live streamed, allowing Surtie-Richards’ fans to pay their last respects to the iconic actress.