KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said the passing of late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s sister Princess Thembi Zulu-Ndlovu is a tragedy of monumental proportions to befall the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
Zulu-Ndlovu passed away on Friday after being rushed to a hospital in Newcastle.
Zikalala expressed his deep shock at the news of the passing of Zulu-Ndlovu, and conveyed his condolences on behalf of the KZN government to the Zulu royal family.
“While we were aware that Mntwana Thembi had recently been in and out of hospital owing to ill-health, we however remained hopeful that Her Royal Highness would in the end emerge from this bout to take her place as the one of the most senior royals of the Zulu nation.”
He said the passing of ‘Mntwana uThembi’ is yet another tragedy, following the passing of late king Zwelithini and queen mother Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu.
“As a Princess Mntwana and a senior member of the Royal Family, Mntwana uThembi was one of the custodians of our culture and customs which symbolises the glue that keeps the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal together across political, class or religious affiliation.”
Zikalala said the news is “heart wrenching and devastating”, especially as the Royal Family is preparing for the coronation of the King of the Zulu nation Misuzulu kaZwelithini in the coming few weeks.
“We wish to convey our deepest condolences to the Ndlovu family for the tragic loss that has befallen the family who have lost a mother and grandmother. We are in deep sorrow as a nation as we share the pain of the Royal Family and the Ndlovu family.”
On Friday, Zulu-Ndlovu’s brother Mbonisi Zulu said his sister and the late king had a close relationship as they grew up together, and it was her wish to unite the family.
Zulu-Ndlovu’s last public appearance was last weekend in Newcastle where she attended the umembeso ceremony for King Misuzulu kaZwelithini’s bride, Ntokozo Mayisela.