Queen Mantfombi made regent of Zulu nation as three months of mourning is declared

24 March 2021 - 17:52
President Cyril Ramaphosa pays his respects to the grieving widows of King Goodwill Zwelithini during a memorial service on Thursday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa pays his respects to the grieving widows of King Goodwill Zwelithini during a memorial service on Thursday.
Image: Elmond Jiyane

Queen Mantfombi Dlamini has been made regent of the Zulu nation.

AmaZulu traditional prime minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi made the announcement after a marathon meeting of members of the Zulu royal family and the late King Goodwill Zwelithini's lawyers on Wednesday at KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace.

Speaking after the meeting, Buthelezi told journalists that Queen Mantfombi becomes the regent in an “interregnum” — until an official successor is named.

He said an official three-month mourning period had been declared, adding that there should be no expectation of a new king when it comes to an end.

“Three months is for mourning, it is for family mourning according to our tradition and she cannot do anything while in mourning. She will be assisted by the royal council in the meantime,” said Buthelezi.

He added that, on Wednesday, in the presence of more than 200 members of the royal family, King Zwelithini's lawyers read out his will.

“In line with the wishes of his majesty the King, the family would like to announce that her majesty Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu will act as regent of the Zulu nation during the interregnum,” Buthelezi said.

He said while Queen Mantfombi was the de facto regent, further decisions on the succession of the Zulu monarchy would not be announced until the family's mourning period ended.

Buthelezi asked that the family be allowed space to grieve.

While the family grieves for three months, the Zulu nation, also in mourning, has been given the go-ahead to resume its normal lives.

“As a champion of food security and substance farming, his majesty urged that things not come to a standstill for a long mourning period. People are free to plough and plant and work from Friday [March 26] in accordance to his majesty's wishes,” Buthelezi added.

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