President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed sadness over the passing of the Queen of the Rharhabe Kingdom, Her Majesty Queen Noloyiso Sandile.

Queen Noloyiso is the widow of the late Rharhabe King Maxhoba Sandile.

She is a sister to the Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini.

In the video below, SABC News talks to Family Spokesperson, Inkosi Xhanti Sigcawu:

In a statement released by the Presidency, President Ramaphosa described Queen Noloyiso as a bastion of traditional values and an inspiring leader of her people.

“Queen Noloyiso played a significant role in the affirmation of traditional values and leadership in South African society at large, and in the development of her kingdom and the Eastern Cape more broadly.”

He also acknowledged the role she played in support of the national efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus by calling on communities to halt traditional initiations.

Queen Noloyiso died of COVID-19 related illness at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane.

“We join the Great Place of Mngqesha and amaRharhabe in mourning her passing; at the same time we pay tribute to her for her deep and unwavering commitment to the upliftment of her people and to her country. May her soul rest in peace,” the President said.

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane also conveyed his condolences to the Rharhabe Kingdom.

“We were interacting with the family a few days ago where we were arranging everything possible to ensure that she is well looked after. So it comes as a shock this afternoon, but it also shows the challenge we are confronted with; with what is going on in our society, with regards to what this virus can do out there. So we just want to call everyone to really support the family, support the Kingdom.”