Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu has died.
Image: THE ZULU ROYAL FAMILYThe sudden death of Her Majesty, Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, regent of the Zulu nation, has left South Africans in shock.

The queen’s death comes shortly after AmaZulu traditional prime minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi confirmed that she had been hospitalised and said he would provide clarity on the status of her health.

On Thursday night, Buthelezi confirmed her passing.

“It is with the deepest shock and distress that the royal family announces the unexpected passing of Her Majesty Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, regent of the Zulu nation. This has taken us by surprise and left us utterly bereft. It is true that the Lord alone knows the days that He has allotted to each one of us,” said Buthelezi.

After King Goodwill Zwelithini’s passing last month, Queen Mantfombi became the regent in an “interregnum” — which would last until an official successor was named.

Condolence messages have flooded social media as scores paid their respects to the royal family and Zulu nation.

Here are some of the messages: