"The Zulu Royal Family and the Zulu Nation grieve the sudden and unexpected loss of King Goodwill Zwelithini’s son, Prince Lethukuthula Zulu,” Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said in a statement.

He died on Friday at his Northwold, Johannesburg apartment.

“It is with utmost pain and sadness that we announce the passing away of his Royal Highness Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, the firstborn son and eldest child of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu and Her Majesty Queen Sibongile MaDlamini,” said the statement.

“Arrangements for the funeral will be announced in due course. For now, our deepest sympathies and support are with His Majesty and the Royal Family.”

Prince Lethukuthula Zulu died under mysterious circumstances.

Several sources within the complex said they suspected criminal elements at play and blamed a robbery gone wrong. The body of the king’s eldest son was discovered by the security personnel of the complex on Friday afternoon after several neighbours alerted them about the anomaly of his locked door and broken window. This after several neighbours reported to have heard a commotion that happened at his flat in the wee hours of Friday morning.

The SunTeam witnessed a lot of activities around the flat on Friday as a police forensic team and pathologists dispatched by Honeydew Police Station rushed to the scene. His body was taken away from the scene late in the afternoon as the forensics team went into the flat with cameras and finger printing equipment.

King Zwelithini’s son, prince Lethukuthula Zulu h

“I heard a lot of screaming and glasses being broken,” said one resident at the scene. Another resident confirmed this and said he heard a lot of shouting between 1 and 2am on Friday morning coming from the flat. Before the commotion one of the neighbours said he heard what sounded like a group of people arriving at the apartment with their car radio playing too loud.

A policeman at the scene told the SunTeam it was not his place to comment but a source later confirmed the inquest docket opened under the deceased’s name. Two white Mercedes-Benz SUVs said to be belonging to his younger sister, and relatives were at the scene. A member of his family referred Daily Sun to the Royal House for official comment.

“It is a sensitive matter and I am sure the family may need a day to comment as they need to process this properly and I am sure you understand that," said the family member refusing to divulge his name. The Royal House had not yet commented by the time we went to publish.

Outside the apartment, a man said to have been Lethu’s flat mate and friend was seen crying uncontrollably in disbelief. A source at the complex said the wailing man told the cops that they had been robbed of almost R80 000 and all their cellphones, and laptops were missing. It is unclear how the suspects gained entry into the apartment.

The king’s son had recently turned 50 in September. He was the first son to the king and his wife, Queen Sibongile MaDlamini.