Image Credit: Hon. Liezl van der Merwe MP

Official Provincial Memorial Service in Honour of Her Majesty Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu Regent of the Zulu Nation

Tribute by
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
Traditional Prime Minister to the
Zulu Monarch and Nation
Inkosi of the Buthelezi Clan
Founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party

KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace, Nongoma

His Royal Highness Prince Guduza, Induna Ginidza and the delegation of Princes and Princesses from His Majesty King Mswati III, King of eSwatini;
Members of the Royal Family of the Kingdom of eSwatini;
Members of the Zulu Royal Family, including Her Majesty the Queen Mother, and the widows of His Majesty our late King;
The children of His Majesty and our late Regent –
His Royal Highness Prince Misuzulu;
Her Royal Highness Princess Ntandoyesizwe, and her husband, Mr Moses Tembe;
Her Royal Highness Princess Nomkhosi;
Her Royal Highness Princess Bukhosibemvelo;
His Royal Highness Prince Bambindlovu Makhosezwe;
His Royal Highness Prince Lungelo;
His Royal Highness Prince Mandlesizwe; and
His Royal Highness Prince Simangaye;
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, the Hon. Mr Sihle Zikalala;
Ministers, Deputy Ministers and MECs;
Their Majesties Kings and Queens of the Royal Houses;
Amakhosi of the Zulu Kingdom;
Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza, Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders;
And all who are bereaved.

I encourage us this morning with the Psalm of King David, “The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Let us cling to these words, for our hearts are indeed broken.

Forty-eight years ago, my nephew King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, came to see me and announced that His Majesty King Sobhuza II had offered his daughter’s hand in marriage. The beautiful young Princess Shiyiwe Mantfombi would become the Great Wife of our King. I was delighted, for I had the greatest respect for the monarch of eSwatini. I and my mother, Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu, had been received by King Sobhuza II some ten years before. I knew that the strong relations between our Kingdoms would be strengthened even further by this marriage.

My heart therefore swelled on Wednesday when I saw the royal delegation of eSwatini bringing the remains of Her Majesty home from Johannesburg. I thank His Royal Highness Prince Guduza, who was my counterpart as Minister of Home Affairs, as well as Induna Ginidza, and the princes and princesses of eSwatini.

On behalf of the Zulu nation and on behalf of the Zulu Royal Family, we thank you for seeing our Regent home to KwaKhangelamankengane. We express our deepest condolences to His Majesty King Mswati III and the Swazi Nation. Your pain is our pain, for we have lost a magnificent princess.

Queen Mantfombi was a woman of tremendous dignity and grace. Simply from the way she carried herself one could see that she was born to royalty. Yet her defining feature was humility. She had a deep concern for her people, particularly for the women of the Zulu Nation. She stretched out her hands and helped them to rise.

Many will honour her as a mentor and as someone who lifted them up. She was truly a combination of beauty and brains. I am not shy to say that I looked forward to her regency, for she would have surprised many with the depth of her mind and the extent to which she was dedicated to her people.

It was that dedication that led her to accept the greatest burden. When His Majesty our King appointed Queen Mantfombi, through his will, to become our Regent, she accepted an extraordinary responsibility. Her willingness to accept shows the strength of her character. As always, she put the Zulu Nation first.

It is devastating that we lost her so suddenly, in the prime of her life. More devastating still when not two months ago we were gathered at KwaKhethomthandayo having laid to rest her husband, our King.

One cannot imagine the pain of their children. Our deepest condolences are reserved for them. Our sympathy and support, and our prayers, are with them. So too are our prayers with the Zulu Royal Family who has lost so much in such a short space of time. The same can be said about the Swati Royal Family.

May the Lord strengthen us to bear such grief.

We thank His Excellency the President and the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal for the support they have given us in honouring our Queen. In so doing, they have honoured our nation.

His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho has asked me to convey his condolences to the Royal Families of both the Zulu and Swazi Nations. His Grace the Most Reverend Dr Thabo Cecil Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town, has also asked me to bring you his message.

His Grace Dr Lekganyane, Bishop of the Zion Christian Church, and many leaders of different denominations have conveyed their messages of sympathy. We appreciate their prayers and support.

Now, by God’s grace, may the daughter of His Majesty King Sobhuza II, the sister of His Majesty King Mswati III, the Great Wife of His Majesty King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, and the Regent of the Zulu Nation, rest in peace.