South Africa’s Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, has died at age 72, his cousin, the Zulu Prime Minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi confirmed in a statement on Friday.
“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,” the statement read.
He was admitted to an intensive care unit for diabetes treatment in a KwaZulu-Natal hospital last month, according to local media.
King Goodwill ascended to the throne in 1968, after the death of his father, King Cyprian Bhekuzulu kaSolomon.
He is believed to have reigned under the traditional leadership subsection of South Africa’s constitution as king of the Zulu nation.