South Africa: Special Official Funeral for Joseph Shabalala

17 February 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a Special Official Funeral Category 2 in honour of Joseph Shabalala, the late founder of choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Shabalala passed away on 11 February 2020, following an extended illness at the age of 78-years.

The Special Official Funeral Category 2 entails ceremonial elements provided by the South African Police Service (SAPS).

"President Ramaphosa has ordered that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country until the evening of 22 February 2020. Regulations require that no other flags should be displayed when the National Flag is flown at half-mast," said the Presidency on Sunday.

The funeral will take place on Saturday, 22 February 2020.

Meanwhile, the President reiterated his condolences to the Shabalala family and members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

He conveyed his condolences to members of the arts and culture fraternities in South Africa as well as those abroad with whom the isicathamiya group had collaborated with for the better part of their six decade career.

In 2008, this world-renowned and widely awarded choral group received the National Order of Ikhamanga for putting South African cultural life on the world map through contributing to the field of South African indigenous music.

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