King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu nation in South Africa is dead.
King Zwelithini, 72, passed away on Friday after being hospitalized for an ailment for several weeks.
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa disclosed this on his Twitter page on Friday morning.
“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,” Ramaphosa tweeted.
Zwelithini ascended the throne in 1971 during the apartheid era at the age of 23, three years after the death of his father.
According to CNN, King Zwelithini was an influential leader throughout his reign. In 2010, he promoted a return to the tradition of male circumcision in order to combat high rates of HIV in KwaZulu-Natal, after studies indicated it significantly reduced transmission.