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Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu: ‘Regent died of a long-term illness’

Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu: ‘Regent died of a long-term illness’

It never rains, but it pours: Friday is a sad day for the Zulu nation at the unexpected passing of Her Majesty Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, Regent of the Zulu Nation.

The Regent’s passing on Thursday, 29 April 2021 was confirmed by Zulu Traditional Prime Minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Her passing follows that of King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu on 12 March 2021.


Zulu Traditional Prime Minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi confirmed that the Queen passed on around 20:15 at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. Buthelezi said:

“The Queen died from a long-term illness that we were aware of, she had previously contracted COVID-19 but she survived. She had been admitted to a hospital in Durban for an operation to remove gall stones, however she wasn’t operated because she was too weak. She was then referred to another doctor in Johannesburg.”

“Her Majesty had complications with her liver, her bile no longer mixed with food as it should in a normal human being, it went straight to the small intestine and this caused complications to her health.”

On Wednesday, 28 April, the Queen was rushed to hospital and the issue surrounding the her health was being kept under wraps, with the severity of her condition unconfirmed.


  • She was born in 1956, and her brother is the current king of eSwatini (King Mswati III).
  • After a traditional upbringing in the Swazi royal family, the princess was betrothed to King Zwelithini in 1973.
  • Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu was announced as ‘the great wife’ during their wedding in 1977, a position that gives her family and lineage more power.
  • Her duties as queen consort over the past 44 years saw the monarch establish a strong reputation in the Zulu kingdom.
  • Although the queen served as interim leader, one of her sons is likely to permanently replace King Zwelithini.
  • Mantfombi was one of six wives married to the deceased king, and she has had eight children with him – including five sons.

Further announcements will be made in due course.




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