Acting Premier Refilwe Mtsweni declares official funeral for Ray Phiri

Legendary jazz artist Ray Phiri will be afforded a special provincial funeral.


Acting Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni has declared a special provincial funeral for the late Ray Phiri.

Ray Phiri lost his battle with lung cancer in the early hours of Wednesday morning at a hospital in Mbombela.

Mtsweni delivered the announcement immediately after she was sworn in by Judge Francis Legodi as the province’s premier on Wednesday afternoon.

Mtsweni is standing in for Premier David Mabuza after he took a “short leave”, according to his spokesman Zibonele Mncwango.

LATEST: Tributes pour in for Ray Phiri

“It is with a heavy heart that the Mpumalanga provincial government confers our condolences on the untimely passing of Mr Ray Phiri in the early hours of Wednesday after a valiant fight against lung cancer,” Mtsweni said.

“As a final homage to this great son of the Mpumalanga soil, it is imperative that the Mpumalanga provincial government pays homage to this icon.

“To this end, and in honour of the stature that Mr Phiri brought to the Mpumalanga province it gives me great pleasure to announce that Mr Phiri shall be granted a special provincial funeral.” she said.

(edited by MLM)

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Tributes pour in for Ray Phiri

Tributes have begun pouring in for the iconic South African musician.


Ray Phiri lost a battle with lung cancer at a Mbombela hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

He was 70 years old.

The public started knowing of the Stimela founder’s worsening health just recently after a friend started a fund-raising initiative to pay for his medical costs.

He died around 3am on Wednesday 12 July 2017.

Throughout his musical career, Phiri has received many awards including the Order of Ikhamanga by President Jacob Zuma.

He has been involved in a series of car accidents which have had an impact on his personal life and career.

Phiri was badly injured in 1987 in a car accident that claimed the lives of his band manager and six others.

In 2003, his wife was killed in a car accident, with Ray escaping seriously injuried.

 

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(edited by MLM)

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