KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has described the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini’s eldest son, Lethukuthula Zulu, on Friday, as a major blow to the royal family.
The royal family, Zikalala said, would find it difficult to cope with his passing given that it recently lost other members.
“Indeed, our hearts are broken and we are deeply hurt by this tragedy that has befallen our Royal Family. It has been a very difficult year as we have seen our King and the Royal family enduring unimaginable sorrow of losing family members.
“We grieve with His Majesty the King, the Royal Family and the people of KwaZulu-Natal. These are indeed trying times for our Royal Family,” he said.
While police were yet to confirm, Prince Lethukuthula reportedly died during a confrontation with unknown people at his Johannesburg home.
The Daily Sun said several sources within the complex where Prince Lethukuthula lived said they suspected criminal elements where involved in his death. Neighbours had alerted the complex’s security guards after hearing a commotion at his flat.
“I heard a lot of screaming and glass being broken,” a neighbour told the Daily Sun. When police arrived at the flat they discovered that the window had been broken.
Former IFP President, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who is also King Zwelithini’s prime minister, said Prince Lethukuthula’s death was a major loss to the royal family.
“It is with utmost pain and sadness that we announce the passing away of His Royal Highness Prince Lethukuthula Zulu. The Zulu Royal Family and the Zulu Nation grieve this sudden and unexpected loss,” he said
Arrangements of Prince Lethukuthula’s funeral, Buthelezi said, would be announced in due course.
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Prince Lethukuthula, who was the first born to Zwelithini and his wife Queen Sibongile Dlamini had celebrated his 50th birthday in September.
Gauteng police confirmed that they were investigating circumstances around Prince Lethukuthula’s death.