King Goodwill Zwelithini- OkayAfrica

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini greets his supporters at The Moses Mabhida Football Stadium in Durban on October 7, 2018, during Umkhosi Welembe, an annual commemoration of Zulu King Shaka ka Senzangakhona, a revered military strategist who united the tribes to form the Zulu Nation.

Photo credit should read RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP via Getty Images

King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu Monarchy Has Died

Tributes are pouring in for King Goodwill Zwelithini after he reportedly died this Friday morning in Durban.

King Goodwill Zwelithini has passed away this Friday morning in a Durban hospital. This follows after Zwelithini was reportedly admitted for low blood sugar levels a few weeks back. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi , traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch, announced the news of Zwelithini's passing in a public statement. Tributes have been pouring in from South Africans across the board for the late Zulu King who ruled for almost 50 years.

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According to TimesLIVE , Buthelezi confirmed the late King's passing saying:

"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. On behalf of the royal family, we thank the nation for your continued prayers and support in this difficult time."

The late King was known for reviving old Zulu traditions such as the "Umkhosi womhlanga" which is known internationally as the "reed dance" despite facing backlash for its custom of virginity testing. Zwelithini was also active in politics and reportedly partnered up with the Afrikaans lobby group, Afriforum, to secure 30 percent of the land in KwaZulu-Natal.

King Zwelithini was born on 14 July 1948 in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal and was the eldest son of King Cyprian Bhekuzulu and his second wife, Queen Thomo . He was crowned the King of the Zulus in 1971 at just 21-years-old. He was the eighth recorded King of the Zulu nation and had the longest reign.

Tributes have been pouring in from South African political parties, celebrities and the general South African public. The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), a political party originally founded for Zulus as South Africa transitioned into democracy, also paid tribute to the late king.