Type 1 diabetes mellitus is poorly characterised in many African communities, including South Africa, where little is known of the disease epidemiology. This study aimed to identify the HLA class II alleles associated with type 1 diabetes in a group of Zulu subjects in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal by PCR-SSP. The HLA alleles associated with type 1 diabetes included HLA-DQB*0302 (P<0.0001), DRB1*O9 (P<0.0001), DRB1*04 (P=0.002), DRB1*0301 (P=0.003), DQB*02 (P=0.004) and DQA*03 (P=0.035). Estimated haplotypes positively associated with type 1 diabetes included HLA-DRB1 *0301-DQA*0501, DRB1*04-DQA*03, DRB1*04-DQB*0302, DRB1*0301-DQB*0201, DQA*0501-DQB*0201 and DQA*03-DQB*0302. These findings are similar to those reported from Zimbabwe and other populations with type 1 diabetes.