AmaZulu traditional prime minister prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has announced that the Zulu royal family will be meeting later on Friday afternoon to listen to the reading of queen regent Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu’s will.
Speaking at a special memorial service in honour of the monarch at KwaKhangelamankengane Palace in Nongoma, Buthelezi said the royal family would meet at 5pm.
Mantfombi passed away last week at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg at the age of 65. She was laid to rest at a private burial on Thursday.
The reading of the queen’s will happens amid divisions within the royal family over how the succession battle should be handled. The late king Goodwill Zwelithini’s first wife is heading to court to interdict the coronation of a new ruler of the AmaZulu nation.
Queen Sibongile Dlamini is challenging the king’s will in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on the basis that they were married under civil law, which prohibits polygamous marriages.
Queen Mantfombi was appointed regent of the Zulu nation in March, following the death of Zwelithini.
Her first son, prince Misuzulu Zulu, is widely speculated to be the one who will ascend the throne.
‘She spoke with love, listened with patience’
Earlier, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma paid tribute to Mantfombi , describing her as a monarch who cared for the downtrodden despite the elevated position she occupied.
Dlamini Zuma said Mantfombi was a unifier of the Zulu nation and eSwatini. The queen was the daughter of the late king Sobuza and sister of king Mswati III of eSwatini.
“We have drunk from the cup of her wisdom, which she exercised with humility. We had seen her direct the young women towards tradition, education and service to the community through initiatives such as uMkhosi Womhlanga (Reed Dance) and many others.
“We have seen her protect our young, fighting for the safety of women against gender-based violence and substance abuse just as a mother hen would do,” Dlamini Zuma said.
“She was very kind. she spoke with love, listened with patience and acted with compassion.”
The minister said the government had been looking forward to working with the queen as the regent until an official successor was named.
She said Mantfombi was going to be a very capable regent who put the interests of the people first.
“We were certain that our ancestors and the universe had favoured us with the right calibre and temperament of a leader, who would not only hold forth but advance amaZulu and our nation to greater and more caring heights.
“For us, she was the centrepiece by which we would reconstruct and reconfigure the traditional systems of commerce, governance and diplomacy, so that we can build resilient, sustainable and prosperous communities that participate on an equal footing with all other nations of the continent and the world.”