The Zulu monarchy and the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature are mourning the deaths of King Goodwill Zwelithini’s eldest son, Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, and legislature deputy speaker Mluleki Ndobe.
Zulu died under mysterious circumstances at his apartment in Northwold, Johannesburg, on Friday, following what is believed to have been a break-in. Ndobe reportedly died as a result of a gunshot wound to his chest.
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said Prince Zulu’s father and his wife were with Prince Zulu’s uncle, IFP founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, when they received the news of their son’s death.
“We’ve learnt with great shock of the unexpected and sudden passing of the first-born son of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, King of the Zulu Nation. His Royal Highness, Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, was the eldest child of His Majesty with his first wife, Her Majesty Queen Sibongile MaDlamini,” said Hlengwa.
According to reports, the prince’s body was found by security personnel at the complex where he lived, and it was suspected that he was shot after a robbery had gone wrong.
Apparently, his neighbours had reported hearing a commotion at his flat in the early hours of Friday morning.
Meanwhile, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said it was shocked and saddened at the untimely passing of its leader, Mluleki Ndobe, affectionately known as “the Black Mamba”.
Ndobe was a Provincial Executive Committee and Provincial Working Committee member, and a former deputy provincial secretary of the ANC in the province.
“He was currently entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating the eThekwini regional task team after the disbandment of the regional executive committee, and taking the region to its next regional conference, which was delayed by the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela was quoted as saying on Saturday.
IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said that Ndobe was a man with the highest levels of maturity and sobriety.
“Even when chairing the meetings of the legislature, he always demonstrated fairness, open-mindedness and respect for other people’s views. It’s unfortunate that his sudden and untimely death has robbed him of the opportunity to contribute further to shaping the lives of our people,” said Hlabisa.
He added that the IFP fully understood that the ANC was Ndobe’s political party and it had lost an asset and a great individual in Ndobe.
“This is also a great loss for all of us, as the people of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. He will leave a huge void in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature. May his family and the ANC be comforted by the knowledge that he played a meaningful role in shaping our country,” said Hlabisa.