King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, reigning King of the Zulu nation, passed away in the early hours of this morning. He had been admitted to hospital due to unstable glucose and was being treated in ICU. Zulu Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party, announced the King’s passing.
Taking the reins in 1968 after his father, King Cyprian Bhekuzulu Nyangayezizwe kaSolomon, passed away, King Goodwill Zwelithini was the longest-serving monarch of the Zulu Kingdom.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement
President Cyril Ramaphosa stated he is deeply saddened by the news.
“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, and 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.”
Inkatha Freedom Party’s Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi made the following statement
“By Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
Inkosi of the Buthelezi Clan and
Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation
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 most difficult time.
May His Majesty our King rest in peace.”
DA Leader John Steenhuisen’s statement
“The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes with sadness the passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini, King of the Zulu Nation, in the early hours of this morning.
King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu has been a hugely important and influential figure on our political and cultural landscape for the past five decades since becoming king in 1968. He was the Zulu Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wives and children, the Zulu Royal House and the Zulu people in this time of loss and grief. May you find comfort and strength as you mourn your leader and celebrate his full life.
May His Majesty rest in peace.”