By Tamlyn Canahm
The Zulu royal family is in mourning following the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini.
The monarch died in hospital on Friday. He was 72 years of age.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi confirmed the news in a statement.
“It is with the utmost grief that I inform the nation of the passing of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu, King of the Zulu Nation.
“Tragically, while still in hospital, His Majesty’s health took a turn for the worse and he subsequently passed away in the early hours of this morning,” he said.
Buthelezi provided no further details.
“On behalf of the Royal Family, we thank the nation for your continued prayers and support in this most difficult time.”
King Zwelithini spent the past few weeks in hospital to treat his “unstable” blood glucose levels.
He was placed in ICU last month.
King Zwelithini is the Zulu Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch. He ascended to the throne when he was just 20 years old, and has been king for more than 50 years.
Condolences pour in for King Goodwill Zwelithini
Condolences are pouring in for the Zulu monarch.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is deeply saddened by King Zwelithini’s passing.
Deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Isilo Samabandla, His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. pic.twitter.com/2mtYLnRQ5w
— Cyril Ramaphosa ?? #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) March 12, 2021
Politician Mmusi Maimane extended his condolences to the entire Zulu kingdom.
“I would like to extend my condolences to the family of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.
“I would also like to extend my condolences to the entire Zulu kingdom. May his soul Rest In Peace,” he wrote.
I would like to extend my condolences to the family of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) March 12, 2021
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 12, 2021
The UDM joins the rest of South Africa in mourning the passing of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.
Bon voyage Silo Samabandla. Bayede! pic.twitter.com/RgBWV8LGU9
— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) March 12, 2021
Deeply saddened by the passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini Ka Bhekuzulu. Heartfelt condolences to the King’s family, friends and the nation. May his gracious soul rest in eternal peace #RIPKingZwelithini pic.twitter.com/VWTPqSs5re
— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) March 12, 2021
Scores of South Africans took to social media to pay their respects.
Rest in peace ?️ ?? King Goodwill Zwelithini pic.twitter.com/oja1Kfq1VK
— Evidence Bongwe (@Evidence_Shongw) March 12, 2021
Rest in Peace Ndabezitha Hlangalomhlabathi King Goodwill Zwelithini
Zulu Nation won’t be the same without you. pic.twitter.com/5uu6VU8z7t
— @FanzSA (@FanzNgubane) March 12, 2021