Mourners in traditional dress have paraded through the streets of Johannesburg to honour South Africa’s Zulu queen on the eve of her funeral.
SOUTH AFRICA – The South African Largest ethnic group lost it’s Queen. Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, 65 — who was the interim leader of the zulu nation died last month after the death of her husband, King Goodwill Zwelithini.
The cause of the queen’s death is yet to be announced by the royal family.
The family has dismissed rumours that she had been poisoned.
Zulu men wearing leopardskin ponchos and headbands were singing and dancing as they made their way to the mortuary.
Zulu men carrying spears and young women wearing traditional dress gathered outside a mortuary in Johannesburg. They were expected to accompany Queen Mantfombi’s remains in preparation for the burial.
Queen Mantfombi will be given the a state funeral; this was announced by the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The queen will be buried in a private ceremony at KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace in a town about 480km (300 miles) from Johannesburg on Thursday 06 May 2021.
The longest-reigning Zulu monarch, King Zwelithini had six wives and at least 26 children. But he picked Queen Mantfombi as his successor because she was the only wife with royal blood.
Queen Mantfombi’s death has triggered a bitter family feud and a power struggle over the succession.
A decision on who will now lead the Zulu nation of about 11 million people is expected after her funeral.
A legal challenge has been launched by some members of the royal family who have questioned the authenticity of the king’s will.
The throne does not have formal political power and the monarch’s role within broader South African society is largely ceremonial. But the Zulu monarchy remains hugely influential with a yearly taxpayer-funded budget of more than $4.9m (£3.5m).
Queen Mantfombi is survived by eight children – including five sons – with the late king.
Her eldest son, 47-year-old Prince Misuzulu, is the favourite to take the throne, reports say.