Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini died in hospital on Friday after he was admitted last month following “several unstable glucose readings”.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, IFP founder and traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch, confirmed the news on Friday morning.
King Zwelithini was crowned as the eighth monarch of the Zulus at a traditional ceremony in Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal, attended by 20,000 people, on December 3 1971.
He was born on July 14 1948 at Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal. He was the eldest son of King Cyprian and his second wife, Queen Thomo, and was educated at the Bekezulu College of Chiefs and then privately tutored.
Following his coronation, the country’s constitution made the king’s role ceremonial and subject to the authority of the chief minister, Buthelezi.
He is survived by his six wives and 28 children. His eldest son and immediate heir to the throne, Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, died in November last year.