South Africans have reacted with shock following the passing of  South African actresses, the legendary Shaleen Surtie-Richards.

Shaun Mynhardt from the Museum for South African Legends has confirmed to SABC News that Surtie-Richards passed away in a guest house in Cape Town, where she was working on a television show.

Surtie-Richards, who turned 66 in May, was best known for her roles as Fiela in Fiela se Kind and Nenna in Egoli. She was born in Upington. Fans of the late actress say the news is devastating.

“The passing of Shaleen fills me with grief and sadness, I will remember her as a giant of the entertainment industry who paved a path for actors of colour. She will remain in our hearts and minds forever, rest in peace,” says a fan.

“Hearing Shaleen Surtie-Richards passed away really hit close to home, because for me she was an icon based on the fact that despite her being famous she was always authentically herself. Rest in peace Fiela, Nenna, Shaleen,” says another fan.

RIP Shaleen Surtie-Richards | Legendary actress passes on: Alistair Izobell