Chester Williams to be given official provincial state funeral - De Lille

Chester Williams will be laid to rest in a special provincial official funeral at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.

Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille announced the news at a memorial for the Springbok legend at the University of the Western Cape on Wednesday.

The directive had also been announced by the Presidency.

Williams died suddenly from a heart attack last Friday. He was 49.

De Lille said she was a close friend of the Williams family.

"We were great friends. He used to love to make potjiekos and a braai at the same time. He would sit at the braai and play PJ Powers songs, until I asked him to play something else," De Lille was quoted as saying.

"We've lost a legend and an icon, but he has run a good race"

In a statement on Wednesday, the presidency announced that "President Cyril Ramaphosa has honoured the late rugby hero, Chester Mornay Williams, with a declaration of a Special Provincial Official Funeral (Category 2)".

 The statement continued: "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 on Friday, 6 September 2019. Most recently, he was coach of the University of the Western Cape rugby side.

"Mr Williams' funeral will be held at the Newlands Rugby Stadium in Cape Town at 12h00 on Saturday 14 September 2019 and will, in terms of the declaration by the President, contain ceremonial elements that will 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 of Mr Chester Mornay Williams."

Sport24's Lloyd Burnard is at the memorial.

"We've lost a legend and an icon, but he has run a good race. He has shown us in the short space of 49 years what he has achieved," De Lille said.

Follow the Live Update on the memorial here: Memorial service for Springbok legend Chester Williams

- Compiled by Paul Herman.