- Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has clarified statements he made about Queen Mantfombi's medical treatment before her death.
- He denies saying she was poisoned, instead explaining he had referred to toxins in her liver.
- Buthelezi said he regrets the "ructions" in the royal household during the mourning period.
The traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, has denied saying Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu was poisoned.
"I merely mentioned the fact that twice, doctors hesitated about operating on the queen because there were toxins, which is not the same thing as poison, it is a medical term [related to the liver]," he said on Wednesday.
Buthelezi was speaking to journalists at KwaKhangelamankengane Palace in Nongoma where the body of the queen would be brought to.
He said thus far, details of her death were not available.
"So far, we don't know what caused the queen's death. It is very serious when people deliberately distort on [a] matter of such seriousness - I have not accused anyone," he said about the poisoning matter.
He said the recent rift in the royal family was regrettable because it was a time of mourning.
The royal family is currently at odds, with civil claims apparently heading to the high court contesting the estate of the late king, Goodwill Zwelithini.
Buthelezi lashed out at Prince Mbonisi and Princess Thembi earlier this week because they allegedly held a secret meeting. They alleged Buthelezi was "some sort of dictator".
Ructions in the royal household
He said it was unfortunate the Zulu royals were at odds during a mourning period.
"It is not pleasant that when we are burying the dead and nursing grief, that in addition, [we] must have all these ructions taking place."
Buthelezi said Zwelithini's will and final wishes were simple.
"I applaud what the king did, he made it very simple. I don't think we are going to crack our heads. We are not going to have our choice to elect [anyone]. Everything will happen in accordance [to protocol], all that is left is to interpret what it means by leaving a will naming a queen."
He also called on singing and dancing at the royal palace to stop.
"People are young and love the royal family and people are singing songs which are not normally sung. People are even dancing. This is not an occasion for that. There are hymns that are sung, especially when an important person of the royal family, the king or queen, passes away.
"I told one of the king's praise singer that they must send a message to the indunas to say that it is wrong to think this is an occasion for dancing and so on."
On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that Mantfombi would have an official state funeral in Nongoma on Friday.