JOHANNESBURG – There have been questions as to why the late rapper Kiernan Forbes, popularly known as AKA, has not been granted a special provincial official funeral.
In a media statement released on Thursday, the Gauteng government said President Cyril Ramaphosa declined that the rapper be granted a provincial funeral. Premier Panyaza Lesufi said the Forbes family was informed during his visit.
AKA was shot dead alongside friend and former manager Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane by unknown gunmen outside Wish restaurant along Durban’s famous Florida Road last week.
Some prominent figures who are not affiliated with the government have in the past been granted State or provincial funerals.
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As outlined by The Presidency in the official funeral policy manual, there are two categories of people eligible for provincial official funerals.
The first category states that such funerals can only be awarded to the speaker of the legislature and members of the executive committee. The second category is reserved for the deputy speaker of the legislature.
However, distinguished persons can also be granted provincial funerals – but only after the premier proves to the president why the person deserves such recognition.
Gqom music pioneer Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo, who died in 2022, was not awarded a provincial funeral, but the KwaZulu-Natal government assisted the family with funds.
The funeral policy manual also highlights that State funerals are reserved for the president and his deputy, as well as for former and acting heads of state.
Although Lesufi’s request was rejected, he said the provincial government would provide law enforcement, a gravesite at Heroes Acre Cemetery, and a flag draping of his casket.
AKA will be laid to rest on Saturday.