Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
30 Apr 2021
9:48 am

SA stands by the Zulu royal family and nation, says Ramaphosa

Thapelo Lekabe

Queen Mantfombi's sudden death announced on Thursday night.

Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu. Picture: Twitter.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his condolences to the amaZulu nation and royal family following the unexpected death of queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, 65, regent of the Zulu nation.

The traditional prime minister of the Zulu monarch and nation, prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, on Thursday night made the announcement in a statement, saying her death had taken the royal family by surprise and left them utterly bereft.

ALSO READ: Zulu kingdom devastated as regent Queen Mantfombi passes away

Ramaphosa said South Africans stood with the Zulu royal family and the nation “in this hour of compounded grief”.

“Personally and on behalf of the government and all South Africans, I offer my sincerest condolences to the royal family and the Zulu nation.

“We extend our thoughts, prayers and hearts once more to the royal family who, in the midst of mourning the passing of their beloved king, are now called upon to bid farewell to the regent in sadly short succession,” Ramaphosa said in a statement on Thursday.

While the cause of queen Mantfombi’s death was unclear, it is understood that she was admitted to hospital last week.

She was appointed regent in the interregnum – the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next – following the death of her husband, king Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, in March.

Mantfombi married Zwelithini in 1977 and became his third wife.

The 65 year old is also of royal blood, as she is the daughter of the late king Sobuza and sister of king Mswati III of eSwatini.

Her eldest son, prince Misuzulu kaZwelithini, has been largely tipped to be the next Zulu king.

‘Tragedy of monumental proportions’

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala also paid tribute to Mantfombi.

Zikalala expressed “deep shock” at the sudden death of the regent of the Zulu nation.

“It is with profound sadness that we have received the heart-wrenching news of the untimely passing of her majesty the queen. This is yet another tragedy of monumental proportions to befall the province and the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

“It is an unfathomable double blow not only to the royal family, but to the people of this province and the nation in its entirety. Even more shattering is that her majesty has left us in the middle of the mourning period for our beloved monarch, king Zwelithini kaBhekuZulu,” Zikalala said in a statement on Friday.

The KZN provincial government called on all citizens to observe the period of mourning and said it would scale down and suspend most of its activities as part of paying its respects to the queen.

The provincial government said it would brief the media on further developments after engagements with the royal family and national government.

“Premier Sihle Zikalala is in communication with the President of the Republic Cyril Ramaphosa and the national government regarding these latest, most unfortunate developments. The provincial executive council will visit the royal family to offer its condolences.”

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