President Announces Special Provincial Funeral for SA Rugby Legend Chester Williams

President Cyril Ramaphosa has honoured the late rugby hero, Chester Mornay Williams, with a declaration of a Special Provincial Official Funeral Category 2.

watch chester_williams-tribute
Chester Williams. Photo: DStv Now

The 49-year-old veteran of the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the first player of colour to represent the Springboks since the 1980s – passed away from a sudden heart attack on Friday, 6 September 2019.

At the time of his passing, Williams coached the University of the Western Cape rugby team. His wife Maria told Rapport of her anguish over his death. She said he returned home from gym on Friday complaining of chest pain. She suggested they go to the doctor but he swung his arms around his body and reassured her he was okay. Tragically, five minutes later the pain returned and despite then rushing to the hospital, Williams was declared dead at 18h00. “We were just two minutes away from the hospital, but I wasn’t quick enough,” she said.

Maria said Williams had shown no signs of previous heart conditions, although he had been worried that he was predisposed to it since his brother died of a similar condition in high school, and his sister had a heart attack only a week beforehand.


Williams’ funeral will be held at the Newlands Rugby Stadium in Cape Town at 12h00 on Saturday 14 September 2019.

In terms of the declaration by the President, the funeral will contain ceremonial elements that will be provided by the South African Police Service.

President Ramaphosa has also instructed that the National Flag fly at half-mast in the Western Cape Province on the day of the funeral.

When the National Flag is half-masted, it should first be hoisted to the top of the flagstaff and then slowly lowered one third of the length of the flagpost from the top of the flagstaff.

Before the flag is lowered at sunset, or at the appointed time, it should first be hoisted to the top of the flagstaff.

Regulations require that no other flags should be displayed when the National Flag is flown at half-mast.

Celebrate Chester Williams’ Victories…

You can celebrate his victories and the mark he made on the game by streaming the Chester Williams Tribute documentary. See trailer below.

WATCH Trailer: Our hears are in it – Chester Williams

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Meanwhile, the President has also paid tribute to anti-apartheid activist Adelaine Hain who passed away at age 92.

Hain was the mother of global human rights activist and senior British politician Lord Hain.

Born in Port Alfred, Adelaine Hain made her mark in defying apartheid and assisting oppressed communities – a commitment to which the apartheid State responded by banning her and later her husband, Walter, before forcing them into exile in the United Kingdom.  – SAnews.gov.za