Zulu Queen: Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu buried amid succession row

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image copyrightAFP

image captionQueen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, seen here in 2004, died unexpectedly at the end of April

The Zulu Queen, Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, who died unexpectedly last week, has been buried in a private ceremony in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province.

She was appointed regent of the country's largest ethnic group in March following the death of her husband King Goodwill Zwelithini.

The queen's death, at 65, has triggered a bitter family feud and a power struggle over the succession.

The family has dismissed rumours that she had been poisoned.

But the cause of the queen's death is yet to be announced by the royal family.

The decision on who will now lead the Zulu nation of about 11 million people is yet to be made.

Queen Dlamini-Zulu was buried at KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace in a town about 480km (300 miles) from South Africa's main city Johannesburg in the early hours of Friday morning.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionMourners in traditional dress paraded through the streets of Johannesburg on the eve of her funeral

Queen Dlamini-Zulu was named regent by her late husband, King Zwelithini, who died from diabetes-related complications at the age of 72 on 12 March.

The longest-reigning Zulu monarch, King Zwelithini had six wives and at least 26 children. But he picked Queen Dlamini-Zulu as his successor because she was the only wife with royal blood.

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).

image copyrightAFP

image captionQueen Dlamini-Zulu was supposed to be regent until a permanent successor was named

Who was Queen Dlamini-Zulu?

Queen Dlamini-Zulu held the highest status among the king's wives, as she came from royalty.

She was the sister of Eswatini's King Mswati III - Africa's only absolute monarch.

Queen Dlamini-Zulu had eight children - including five sons - with the late king.

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