Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini dies at 72. Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini is dead at the age of 72 after spending days in a hospital in his home country of South Africa.
Last week, the king was admitted to a hospital in KwaZulu-Natal to have his diabetic condition monitored.
On Friday, March 12, the notorious but respected king of South Africa’s largest ethnic group, the Zulu, died. Despite having no official authority in modern South Africa, the king exerted enormous control over millions of Zulus through his mainly ceremonial and spiritual position.
A statement signed by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, an influential veteran politician who is also a Zulu prince, was released by the palace.
“It is with great sadness that I notify the country of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini… King of the Zulu nation’s passing.
“Unfortunately, His Majesty’s condition deteriorated whilst he was still in hospital, and he passed away in the early hours of this morning.”
Following his father’s death in 1968, Goodwill Zwelithini was elected heir to the throne at the age of 20. Since fielding death threats, he went into hiding and wasn’t crowned until 1971.