Inkosi of the Buthelezi Clan and Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, confirmed her death in short statement issued on Thursday night.
“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. Further announcements on Her Majesty’s funeral and the necessary arrangements will be made in due course. May Her Majesty, our Regent, rest in peace,” Buthelezi said.
Queen Mantfombi was appointed leader of the Zulu Nation following the death of her husband, King Goodwill Zwelithini, last month. He is reported to have died from a COVID-19-related illness in a Durban hospital.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the Queen had been admitted to hospital. Details around her illness or state of health following the admission had not been made public.
The 65-year-old monarch was the King’s third wife.
Her Majesty. The Queen? Royal Highness #AfricanPrincess: #MantfombiDlamini. Daughter of King Sobhuza II of Swaziland. Principal Wife 2 Isilo Goodwill Zwelithini. Princess of eSwatini, Queen Consort & until this day- Regent of AmaZulu. Bayede #Ndlovukazi ✊?#RIPQueenMantfombi ? pic.twitter.com/f5ngORGxQr
— Asanda Magaqa ?? (@asandamagaqa) April 29, 2021
The Queen’s appointment did not sit well with some members of the royal family and last week, Buthelezi slammed reports of ‘parallel meetings’ between certain members.
He said the meetings were reportedly called by HRH Prince Mbonisi and his sister HRH Princess Thembi, children of His Majesty King Cyprian Bhekuzulu ka Solomon, father of the late King.
Buthelezi said the meetings were held without the authority or sanction of the Queen. He added that the family had been discussing the matter of assistance for the Queen in the presence of the same relatives who then arranged their own meeting.
“I, as traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, knew about these meetings. They have not even been attended by the late King’s Personal Assistant, Prince Thulani ka Gqikazi ka Solomon ka Dinuzulu, nor the King’s remaining paternal uncle, Prince Philemon ka Tshelendoda ka Dinuzulu, and a number of other senior members of the Royal family,” Buthelezi said.
He said he is still awaiting the minutes of the separate meetings.
“The Royal Family is deeply concerned by these unauthorised meetings, as it is felt that they are mischievous and an inception of division within the family. It appears that such action seeks to torpedo His Majesty the King’s own wishes and arrangements,” Buthelezi said.
Details around the queen’s death have yet to be made public.
Mantfombi Dlamini was born in 1956. Her father, Sobhuza II of Swaziland, was both the heir to an ancient dynasty and the founder of a country that was known at its independence as Swaziland. After a traditional upbringing in the Swazi royal family, the princess was betrothed to King Goodwill Zwelithini in 1973. At the time of their betrothal, she was a member of the royal family of a sovereign state while her intended husband – a former Zulu chief that had acceded to the kingship of Zululand, a mediatised traditional authority in what was then Apartheid South Africa, some two years earlier – was deemed by some to be at something of a disadvantage in terms of relative dynasticity.
View this post on Instagram
Main image credit: The Zulu Royal Family