South Africa’s most influential king Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu is dead, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement on Friday. He was 72.
His Majesty passed away in hospital on March 12, 2021, the president added.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Isilo Samabandla, King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu. His Majesty passed away in hospital on the 12th of March 2021,” the presidency said in a statement.
“This sad news come at a time when we had all been hopeful that His Majesty was recovering well in hospital where he had been over the past few weeks,” the President said.
The President has offered his sympathies and prayers to the Royal Family, to the Zulu nation, and to the people of KwaZulu-Natal and beyond – for whom the Ingonyama was an important symbol of history, culture and heritage.
“His Majesty will be remembered as a much-loved, visionary monarch who made an important contribution to cultural identity, national unity and economic development in KwaZulu-Natal and through this, to the development of our country as a whole,” Ramaphosa added.