KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala and President Cyril Ramaphosa have shared their shock and sadness at the sudden death of Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu.
“Losing the pillars of the family and nation in such quick succession is extremely difficult to bear,” said Zikalala.
“It is an unfathomable double blow, not only to the royal family but to the people of this province and the nation in its entirety. Even more shattering is that her majesty has left us in the middle of the mourning period for our beloved monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuZulu, who died on March 12.”
Mangosuthu Buthelezi, traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch and nation, confirmed the news on Thursday night.
Ramaphosa said: “Personally and on behalf of government and all South Africans, I offer my sincerest condolences to the royal family and the Zulu nation.
“We extend our thoughts, prayers and hearts once more to the royal family, who in the midst of mourning the passing of the beloved king are now called upon to bid farewell to the regent in sadly short succession.
“We stand by the royal family and the nation in this hour of compounded grief.”
Zikalala said his administration was in constant contact with the royal family and with national government.
“We will do our part to provide support to the royal family and the nation, who are understandably distraught at this stage,” he said.