Durban – The Zulu monarch is mourning the death of his eldest son, Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, who was found dead at his Gauteng home in Northwold, Johannesburg, on Friday afternoon.
Prince Lethukuthula, 50, was the first-born son of King Goodwill Zwelithini and Queen Sibongile MaDlamini from KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace.
Police confirmed that Zulu was with a friend who was sleeping in another room at Graceland residential complex when a security guard discovered his body.
However, this could not be confirmed by police or independently verified.
Gauteng police spokesperson, Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said the information was still sketchy and police were probing the circumstances that led to his death. She said an inquest docket had been opened at Honeydew SAPS.
“A post mortem will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death. Police are at this stage not at liberty to disclose the exact cause of death or confirm the identity of the deceased,” said Peters.
Zulu royal household spokesperson, Prince Thulani Zulu said he did not have details about the prince’s death. He said he was driving from Durban to the royal household in Nongoma.
Prince Mbonisi Zulu said he had no clue as to what had transpired but would give details after the post mortem report had been obtained from the police.
It is believed that Prince Lethukuthula was a businessman who had operations in Gauteng.
His death was announced on behalf of the king by his prime minister, former Home Affairs minister and founder of the IFP, Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
“The Zulu Royal Family and the Zulu Nation grieve this sudden and unexpected loss,” Buthelezi said in a statement yesterday.
Buthelezi said arrangements for the funeral would be announced in due course.
“For now, our deepest sympathies and support are with His Majesty and the Royal Family.”
IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa extended his party’s condolences to the royal family. He said on behalf of the IFP: “We wish His Majesty strength as he calms the distress of the Zulu Nation, and we pray that he himself will be comforted by the support that will undoubtedly come from many quarters as the late Prince Lethukuthula is honoured and mourned. We express our sympathy also to our founder and president emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP.
“Prince Buthelezi was with the king and queen deep into the night as they received the news of their son’s passing. This is a painful time for the Zulu Nation. We stand in support of all who are grieving and we pray for the royal family.”
The prince’s death comes at a time when the king was still in mourning after the death of his half-brother, Prince Mandla Zulu, who died in August, as well as the death of two princesses, Nobuhle and Busi (who lived at Mbelebeleni royal residence in KwaMashu, Durban). It was not clear what had caused their deaths.
He is also grieving the death of his sister, Queen Noloyiso Sandile (born princess Nomusa Zulu), who was the queen regent of the AmaRharhabe Monarch of Maxhob’ayakhawuleza Sandile in the Eastern Cape.