The AmaZulu and eSwatini royal families on Wednesday collected the remains of the AmaZulu regent, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, from Johannesburg to the KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace in KwaNongoma, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The Queen passed away last Thursday night at Milpark hospital in Johannesburg at the age of 65.
Just like her late husband, King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, the late Regent will be buried at night and in KwaKhangelamankengane Palace.
On Tuesday night, Gauteng Premier David Makhura welcomed both the Zulu and eSwatini royal families, who came to the province to collect the remains of Queen Mantfombi.
Speaking on behalf of government when the Queen’s remains were being transported to KwaZulu-Natal, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said it is a sad moment for the Zulu nation and the country as a whole.
“We hope everything will go well as planned. The Gauteng provincial government handled everything well,” Zulu said.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Peggy Nkonyeni, said all the necessary arrangements have been made for the transportation of the Queen’s remains.
“We have made all the necessary arrangements with the Road Traffic Management in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal for the transportation of Queen Mantfombi’s remains,” Nkonyeni said.
The hearse transporting the remains of Queen Mantfombi left the mortuary in Hillbrow, Gauteng, escorted Zulu maidens and Amabutho singing traditional songs.
Queen Mantfombi was appointed as the interim leader of the Zulu Kingdom after King Goodwill Zwelithini’s death in March.
The Queen’s funeral will take place on Thursday night in KwaNongoma and a memorial service will be held on Friday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a special provincial official funeral for Regent of the Zulu nation.
The Gauteng provincial government has been working together with the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government to arrange the return of the regent’s remains from Johannesburg.
According to Zulu custom, Queen Mantfombi’s remains will be interred in secret on Thursday night and it is expected that female regiments, known as Isiphithiphithi, will take part in activities associated with the funeral.
A memorial service will be held on Friday at KwaKhangelamankengane Palace, which will be presided over by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to which Her Majesty belonged.
About 100 young Zulu maidens, or izintombi, braved the cold weather and held a night vigil outside the Johannesburg mortuary in honour of the Queen.
Earlier this week, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and members of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government visited the royal family at KwaKhangelamankengane.