Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, has died in a hospital where he was receiving treatment for diabetes-related ailments.
“It is with the utmost grief that I inform the nation of the passing of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini … King of the Zulu nation,” a statement signed by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a politician and Zulu prince said.
King Zwelithini was an influential traditional ruler who led South Africa’s largest ethnic group for 50 years.
The 72-year-old was admitted to a hospital in KwaZuluNatal last week due to his ongoing struggle with diabetes.
In his time as King, he was a strong advocate for preserving cultural identity.
The King who will be remembered as a straight-talker was often very critical of the governing African National Congress (ANC) which he accused of mishandling the country.
He is survived by 6 wives and 28 children. At this time, it is not known which of his 28 children will succeed him.
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