Home » As royal family moves to bury Queen Regent, tensions hover over Zulu throne

As royal family moves to bury Queen Regent, tensions hover over Zulu throne

by Editorial Team

The Amazulu royal kingdom has announced the official burial date of the late Queen Regent Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu. The burial will be held at midnight on May 6 according to royal customs.

Independent Online reported the burial arrangements that the family has concluded as announced by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the traditional prime minister of the Zulu nation. 

“On Wednesday 5 May, Her Majesty’s body will be transported from Johannesburg to her Royal Palace of KwaKhangelamankengane in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, where preparations for her burial will take place on Thursday.” The burial will be a close family affair and will take place in the middle of the night.

Additionally, a “memorial service will be held on Friday at KwaKhangelamankengane Palace, which will be presided over by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to which Her Majesty belonged. It is expected, however, that His Grace, the Archbishop of the Anglican Church, will also participate,” Buthelezi said.

The prevailing COVID-19 pandemic puts a strain on attendance for the memorial service. “Her Majesty’s memorial service will be attended by members of the Royal Families of both the Kingdoms of Zululand and eSwatini. This will further reduce the number of mourners allowed in terms of COVID-19 protocols. Such protocols will be strictly maintained,” Buthelezi added. 

Meanwhile, Sihle Zikalala said he submitted a request to the Presidency to declare a state funeral for the departed regent, SABC News reported. Zikalala is the premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The death of Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu leaves a temporary vacuum on the Amazulu throne. The late regent is from the royal house of eSwatini, the daughter of King Sobhuza II and step-sister to King Mswati III of eSwatini. She was the great wife of King Goodwill Zwelithini, who passed earlier on March 12. By implication, only her offspring, especially her sons, have a right to the throne, even though she was the king’s third wife.

While only a married prince can ascend the throne, the late regent’s son, 47-year-old Prince Misuzulu Zulu, the immediate heir to the throne, is unmarried. The regent’s three-month appointment was rumored to be a tactic employed to afford the prince ample time to find a wife and not necessarily to mourn the late king as the royal family claimed in March.

Independent Online also reported that royal sources claim the monarch will announce the next Zulu king after the memorial service, with Prince Misuzulu ascending the throne. Misuzulu is the son of the late Queen Dlamini-Zulu and King Goodwill Zwelithini. In March, an anonymous insider tipped off pressmen that the late king’s will has confirmed Prince MisuZulu as his successor.

The traditional council will make the appointment to ensure that there is no leadership vacuum that “could be exploited and used to divide the royal house,” according to royal sources.

The matter has not gone down well with Princess Thembi Zulu and Prince Mbonisi Zulu, the late king’s siblings. Queen Sibongile Dlamini-Zulu and her daughters, princesses Ntandoyenkosi Zulu and Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma, have gone to court to contest his will. They claim someone forged his signature. Queen Sibongile is the late monarch’s first wife.The royal family confirmed that the fight over who will succeed the late king is now heading to the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, SABC News reported.

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