Family of veteran film and theatre actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards have slammed rumours that she had taken her own life.
This after Surtie-Richards, 66, was found dead in her guesthouse in Cape Town where she was staying while filming the TV series Arendsvlei.
“All kinds of rumours are flying around as to the cause of death which is why we would like to emphasise that Ms Surtie-Richards did not commit suicide.”
ALSO READ: Shaleen Surtie-Richards passes away
Although her cause of death remains unknown, her family explained that 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.”
News of her death spread like wildfire on Monday and nostalgic South Africans found themselves searching the web for shows and films starring the veteran actress.
“THIS … is what you call legacy!! Laugh and cry with this throwback Egoli moment. RIP Nenna,” tweeted South African broadcaster Eusebius McKaiser along to a link with a clip of Surtie-Richards in her role as Ester “Nenna” Willemse and her co-star sharing a cannabis-laced cookie.
Watch Shaleen Surtie-Richards in her role as Ester “Nenna” Willemse on eGoli below:
Comedian Soli Philander took to Twitter to express his feeling about the news of her passing.
“My heart is broken, someone said Shaleen is dead,” he tweeted.
According to a statement issued by the family, they were also shocked to hear of her passing.
“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,” said artist and producer Alistair Izobell in her capacity as family spokesperson.
The family also thanked the people of South Africa for the love, support and respect they have shown the family thus far as they prepare to lay her to rest.
Details of Surtie-Richards’ memorial and funeral services have not yet been made public.