Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, regent of the Zulu Nation, has tragically died.
In a statement on Thursday evening, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi announced that the late King Goodwill Zwelithini KabhekuZulu’s widow had passed away unexpectedly, leaving the royal family “utterly bereft”.
Queen Mantfombi, 65, was announced in March 2021 as the interim ruler of the Zulu nation pending the installation of a new king to succeed the late King Zwelithini.
“This has taken us by surprise and left us utterly bereft. It is true that the Lord alone knows the days that He has allotted to each one of us.
“On behalf of the royal family, I wish to assure the nation that while we are all rightly grief-stricken, there will be no leadership vacuum in the Zulu nation,” Buthelezi, prime minister of the Zulu nation, said.
“Further announcements on Her Majesty’s funeral and the necessary arrangements will be made in due course.”
Queen Mantfombi is Eswatini’s King Mswati III’s sister and got married to King Zwelithini in 1977. They have eight children.
King Zwelithini passed away on 12 March, following his admission to hospital in February to deal with his diabetes.
Queen Mantfombi’s death is the third to befall the Zulu royal family in recent months.
Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, the first-born son and eldest child of King Zwelithini and Queen Sibongile MaDlamini, died in November last year.
AmaRharhabe Queen Noloyiso Sandile died in July 2020 following a short illness. She was King Zwelithini’s sister and widow of King Maxhoba Sandile.
Additional reporting by Vhahangwele Nemakonde