Her Majesty Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, regent of the Zulu nation, has died.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch and nation, confirmed the news on Thursday night.
“It is with the deepest shock and distress that the royal family announces the unexpected passing of Her Majesty Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, regent of the Zulu nation. 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.”
Buthelezi said on behalf of the royal family, he wished to assure the nation that while they were 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.”
On Thursday morning, Buthelezi told TimesLIVE he would respond to questions on the condition of the queen.
Queen Mantfombi, who became regent just over a month ago after the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini, was reportedly unwell and had been hospitalised. She became the regent in an “interregnum” — until an official successor is named.
Last week, Buthelezi said that the late king’s siblings were allegedly conducting meetings without the authority of the regent.