Home SA News Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s death: Queen chosen as regent

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s death: Queen chosen as regent

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's death: Queen chosen as regent

The Zulu royal family in South Africa has appointed the third wife of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini as regent until a new monarch takes the throne.




It’ll be a few more months before the next amaZulu king is announced to the nation.

According to the amaZulu nation’s prime minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Her Majesty Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu will act as regent of the Zulu nation for the time being.

The new monarch will not be announced until the three-month mourning period was over.

“The loss of His Majesty the King has been a tremendous blow and the family must be allowed to grieve,” Buthelezi.

Last week, senior members of the royal family met after the reading of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu’s will on Thursday, the day of his memorial.



On Wednesday, the family met with the king’s lawyers.

“The regent and the royal family have asked that I impress upon the nation the late king’s wish for his people to take out their hoes on Friday.

As a champion of food security and subsistence farming, His Majesty urged that things not come to a standstill for a long mourning period.

People are thus free to plough and plant and work from Friday 26 March 2021,

in accordance with His Majesty’s wishes,” Buthelezi added.

Queen Mantfombi MaDlamini Zulu held the status of “Great Wife” since her marriage to the king in 1977.

Her appointment has fuelled speculation that one of her sons will become king of the 11 million-strong Zulu nation.

Zwelithini, 72, had diabetes and died in hospital of Covid-related complications on 12 March.


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He was the longest-reigning Zulu monarch, having served on the throne for almost 50 years.

He had six wives and at least 26 children.

Queen MaDlamini Zulu’s appointment was announced following a meeting between

Zwelithini’s lawyers and some 200 members of the royal family to discuss his will.


The King"s wives grieve during the memorial for the late Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini at the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, South Africa, 18 March 2021.

The late king’s traditional prime minister, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, said her appointment was in line with Zwelithini’s wishes.

The royal family would observe a three-month mourning period and further decisions

about the king’s successor would be taken thereafter, chief Buthelezi said.

“The loss of His Majesty, the king, has been a tremendous blow and the family must be allowed to grieve,” he added


ulu King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu (L) and senior Prince of the Zulu Nation and former leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party ( IFP ) Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (R) join thousands of people to commemorate King Shaka's Day Celebration near the grave of the great Zulu King Shaka at Kwadukuza, some 98 kilometres north of Durban, on September 24, 2019


Zwelithini was buried – or planted, as Zulus say – on Thursday at a private ceremony

attended by a select few men from the royal family.

What more do we know about the regent?

Queen MaDlamini Zulu held the highest status among the king’s wives, as she came from royalty.

She is the sister of Eswatini’s King Mswati III – Africa’s only absolute monarch.

Queen MaDlamini Zulu had eight children – including five sons – with the late king, according to South African media.

Their eldest son, 47-year-old Prince Misuzulu, is the favourite to take the throne, reports say.

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