Zulu Princess Thembi Ndlovu, Sister of Late King Zwelithini, Passes Away After Illness
Zulu Princess Thembi Ndlovu, Sister of Late King Zwelithini, Passes Away After Illness. Photo: KZN Govt

Her Royal Highness Princess Thembi Ndlovu passed away earlier today (Friday 8 April). Tributes have poured in from around the world for the Princess, who was sister to the late Zulu King Zwelithini.

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Premier Sihle Zikalala tonight expressed his deep shock at the news, on behalf of the government and the people of KZN.

“It is with great sadness that earlier this evening we received the news that Her Royal Highness Princess Thembi Ndlovu, the sister of the late His Majesty Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu has passed away following an illness,” he said.

“While we were aware that Mntwana Thembi had recently been in and out of hospital owing to ill-health, we however remained hopeful that Her Royal Highness would in the end emerge from this bout to take her place as one of the most senior royals of the Zulu nation.


“This news is heart wrenching and devastating, especially as the Royal Family is preparing for the coronation of the King of the Zulu nation Misuzulu kaZwelithini in the coming few weeks.”

He conveyed deepest condolences to the Ndlovu family for the “tragic loss that has befallen the family who have lost a mother and grandmother. We are in deep sorrow as a nation as we share the pain of the Royal Family and the Ndlovu family.”

The Premier added: “As a Princess Mntwana and a senior member of the Royal Family Mntwana uThembi was one of the custodians of our culture and customs which symbolises the glue that keeps the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal together across political, class or religious affiliation.

“The passing of Mntwana uThembi is yet another tragedy of monumental proportions to befall the people of KwaZulu-Natal when the nation is still recovering from the double blow of losing His Majesty Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu and Regent Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu only last year.

“As Her Royal Highness Princess Thembi ascends to the great world in the skies, she is taking her final steps and is ascending to the great seat where our revered ancestors now reside.

“We ask the people of KwaZulu-Natal to put the royal family in its thoughts and prayers this evening and in days to come, as we all come to terms with the tragic loss of the pillar of our royal family.”

The Provincial Executive Council will – after consultation – visit the royal family to offer its condolences.

“May the Soul of Her Royal Highness Princess Thembi Ndlovu rest in peace,” said the KZN Premier.