The South African Presidency has rejected the Gauteng Premier’s request to give Kiernan “AKA” Forbes a state funeral.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said the province wanted to honour the rapper by draping his coffin with the South African flag and by flying the flag at half-mast.
AKA and his friend Tebello Motsoane were gunned down in Durban on Friday.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi on Thursday confirmed that his office had not succeeded in getting permission from the Presidency to give Kiernan “AKA” Forbes a state funeral.
Lesufi denied the request was for a financial contribution. He said the province wanted to honour the rapper by draping his coffin with the South African flag and flying the flag at half-mast.
“We felt that a person of this international stature… there must be some form of honour and we want to clarify that it was not a financial contribution, but it was an honour of draping the coffin, ensuring the flag flies at half-mast and ensuring that it [is] a befitting funeral.”
Lesufi, speaking to Newzroom Afrika outside the rapper’s home on Thursday, said AKA would be buried in a secluded venue with “leaders, heroes and heroines of our society”.
“We will also provide security support for the family and ensure that the family feel our support and our comfort.”
AKA was killed on Friday night outside Wish restaurant on Florida Road in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, in what has been speculated to be a hit. His friend, Tebello Motsoane, an entrepreneur and celebrity chef, was also killed in the shooting.
The rapper’s family announced earlier this week that the star would be buried in a private funeral on Saturday. A public memorial service will be held on Friday.
If Ramaphosa had granted the request, the rapper’s coffin would have been wrapped in the South African flag and a provincial government official would have attended the funeral on behalf of the government.
News24 previously reported that Lesufi’s spokesperson, Vuyo Mhaga, said a state funeral was for anyone who had contributed to society.
“It is not about money. We are honouring the person’s contribution to the country. The family can keep the flag as a reminder that the South African government recognises their contribution,” Mhaga said.