The remains of the Zulu regent arrived at her final resting place in KwaNongoma in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.
Kwakhangela Royal Palace was a hive of activity, albeit with a sombre mood prevailing, as the Zulu nation welcomed Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu.
Queen Mantfombi’s mortal remains made their way from Johannesburg, where she took her last breath, through Mpumalanga, to the Kwakhangela palace.
Isiphithiphithi, amabutho, and izintombi welcomed the Queen with renditions of traditional songs.
Queen Mantfombi was born in 1956 in Swaziland, daughter of King Sombhuza II.
Many women who ushered the queen home were adorned in clothes bearing the faces of the late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu and King Mswati III, the queen’s brother. She served as queen consort of the Zulu kingdom as the Great Wife to King Goodwill Zwelithini for 44 years.
Queen Mantfombi had eight children, the first born in 1974 and the youngest in 1991.
She will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at dawn on Thursday morning. President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a special provincial official funeral which is set to take place on Friday night.
Queen Mantfombi died shortly after the death of her husband King Goodwill Zwelithini, who died in March.