Mourners in traditional dress have paraded through the streets of Johannesburg to honour South Africa’s Zulu queen on the eve of her funeral. Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, 65, became interim leader of the country’s largest ethnic group 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. 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. The queen will be buried in a private ceremony at KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace in a town about 480km (300 miles) from Johannesburg on Thursday. There was a heavy police presence near the palace, where cows have been slaughtered to feed mourners who had gathered to pay their respects. Meanwhile, 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.