Who Is Sibongile Winifred Dlamini, Goodwill Zwelithini’s First Wife?

Sibongile Winifred Dlamini is a South African Queen best known as the first wife of late King Goodwill Zwelithini. 

Late King Goodwill Zwelithini, who died in March 2021 after ruling the Zulu nation for over five decades was a husband to six wives. Sibongile Winifred Dlamini was the first wife he married before ascending the throne, seeing that it was customary that an unmarried man could not become king.

Following the death of the king, there has been a lot of controversy in the royal family as regards who ascends the throne. The battle for the late king’s successor has seen his first wife, Queen Sibongile Winifred question the authenticity of the late monarch’s will. The will which was made available upon King Goodwill’s death saw late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu – the king’s third wife – appointed as the queen regent.

This position empowered her to name the next leader of the Zulu nation. As expected, she named her son, Misuzulu Zulu – who is also the first surviving son – the new king of the Amazulu kingdom before she died. The development has been contested by Queen Sibongile Winifred Dlamini who claims that she is the only legitimate wife of the late king and as such, demands that not just the throne but 50% of his entire estate comes to her.

Summary Of Sibongile Winifred Dlamini's Biography

  • Full name: Sibongile Winifred Dlamini Zwelithini
  • Gender: Female
  • Current residence: Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Ethnicity: African
  • Nationality: South African
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Marital Status: Widowed
  • Sibongile Winifred Dlamini’s Late Husband: King Goodwill Zwelithini (tied the knot in 1969 as the first spouse)
  • Sibongile Winifred Dlamini’s Children: 5
  • Famous for: Being the first wife of late King Goodwill Zwelithini

According To Sibongile, She Was Abducted To Marry The Late King

There is currently no available information regarding the early life of Sibongile Winifred Dlamini, the first queen of late King Goodwill Zwelithini. In the course of trying to establish that she is the right heir to the king’s throne, she released a 35-page affidavit and in this document, she claimed she had been abducted (ukuthwala) to marry the late king.

Sibongile Winifred Dlamini

According to her, in September 1961, the late king and his brother-in-law, Prince Klaas Mahlangu took her from school to the KwaKhethomthandayo Palace located at Nongoma. At the age of 20, she was forced to get married to the late King Goodwill. At that time, ukuthwala was allowed and was part of the accepted laws in the Zulu nation. A female could be fetched from her home or wherever she was for the sole aim of getting into a customary marriage.

From her revelation in the affidavit, it could easily be deduced that she got married at the age of 20 while she was still in school. About 7 years after their marriage, King Goodwill was crowned King of the Zulu nation. Their wedding took place at St Margaret’s Church, Nongoma.

The Marriage Between King Zwelithini and Queen Sibongile Winifred Dlamini Was Blessed With 5 Children

The obvious result of polygamy most times is having so many children and this was the same for the late King Goodwill who got married to 6 wives and had 28 children. Of his 28 children, only five were born by his first wife.

Their first child, as well as the firstborn son of the king, Prince Lethukuthula Zulu was born in 1970 but unfortunately, he died in 2020 at the age of 50. His body was found lying lifeless at Graceland residential complex in Northwold, Johannesburg, and was investigated as a murder case.

As of the time of his death, there were speculations that the royal family had lost a potential heir apparent to the throne, but this speculation was quickly brought under control by the head of the Mkhwanazi Tribal Authority in KwaDlangezwa, Inkosi Mandla Mkhwanazi, who told City Press that the royal family had not yet put anyone forward as the heir.

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The second child of Sibongile Winifred Zwelithini, Princess Nombuso Zulu, was born in 1973 and is doing just well for herself, seeing that she owns a thriving catering business – Ilembe Catering Services – based in Durban. Six years after her birth, her younger sibling, Ntombizosuthu Ka Zwelithini Duma was born. Just like Princess Nombuso, Ntombizosuthu is also a successful businesswoman. She is married to a businessman named Mbongiseni Duma and together they own Persuasions and Zamalwandle Transport Logistics.

In 1982, the fourth child Princess Ntandoyenkosi Ka Zwelithini Ngcaweni was born. She is married to Busani Ngcaweni, Deputy Director-General in The Presidency and Chief of Staff to the former Deputy President. Ntandoyenkosi serves as an Asset Manager at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

The last child, Princess Sinethemba Bati Zulu was born in 1989 and was reported at some point to be studying for a degree in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand. Aside from the sad loss of her first and only son, Queen Winifred Dlamini should be proud of the women her daughters have grown to become.

Why Sibongile Dlamini Is Demanding For 50% Of The Late King’s Assets

The death of the king has been followed by a lot of controversies in the royal family of the Zulu nation. Firstly, it was the surprising death of the King’s great wife, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini – just a few weeks after the king’s death – she had been appointed as the Regent and saddled with the responsibility of choosing a new king in the late king’s mourning period.

Following her death on the 29th of April 2021, it was announced at a public hearing held on the 7th of May 2021 that she had appointed her son, Misuzulu Zulu, to be the heir to the throne. This announcement was strongly disputed by Princess Ntandoyenkosi and Princess Ntombizosuthu, the daughters of Queen Sibongile, who even questioned the validity of the king’s will, arguing that their father’s signature as appended on the will had been forged.

The Queen herself took up the fight for the throne as well as the late king’s assets. In her 35-page affidavit, she claimed that she was married under the South African civil marriage law which implies a community of property and does not permit polygamy, whereas, other wives were married in a customary marriage. She claims it gives her the right to own 50% of the late king’s assets, seeing that they jointly owned everything equally while the remaining 50% can be shared among other wives.

Her Demand Is Perceived Publicly As Sheer Greed

While Sibongile Winifred Dlamini seeks that the court hands over 50% of the late Zulu king’s estate to her and her daughters demand that the king’s will is nullified on the basis of fraud, King Misuzulu kaZwelithini is not staying silent. On his end, he has launched counter litigation, requesting that the civil marriage between his father and Sibongile be rendered null and void.

Buthelezi, the premier of KwaZulu-Natal also filed an affidavit stating that Queen Sibongile Dlamini cannot just ‘wish away’ the other wives. In response to the claims of Buthelezi, the Queen and her daughters requested that he not meddle in the issue, making it clear that he does not have any legal right to get involved. The queen whose request was seen as an act of selfishness also said, he was not to blame, rather other wives who got married to an already married man should get the blame.

If the court should grant Queen Sibongile Winifred Dlamini’s request, and approve her marriage as the only legitimate marriage, that would automatically disinherit other children of the king, including the current leader of the Amazulu kingdom, King Misuzulu Zulu kaZwelithini.


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Romeo Ndlovu
Romeo Ndlovu
Romeo's secret talent is taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary content. At work, he is thinking about how best to provide the most unique, original content that provides utmost satisfaction to the user. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favorite pastimes


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