Everything to know about the longest-serving Zulu monarch in history, King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu; his wives, children etc.
There had been rumors about the Zulu leader’s death since his hospital admission for diabetes treatment last month.
King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu of the Zulu nation in South Africa has died in a hospital where he was being treated for diabetes-related issues.
Who was King Zwelithini?
King Zwelithini was the longest-serving Zulu monarch in history, reigning for more than five decades.
King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu was the reigning King of the Zulu nation under the Traditional Leadership clause of South Africa’s republican 1996 Constitution. He became King on the death of his father, King Cyprian Bhekuzulu kaSolomon, in 1968.
While the traditional leader’s role was largely spiritual and ceremonial, he was occasionally involved in politics.
The king was the sole trustee of the Ingonyama Trust, which manages nearly 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres) of communally-owned land. In 2019, he vowed to protect his land when a South African authority proposed scrapping the Ingonyama Trust.
King Zwelithini reigned over nearly 11 million Zulu people living in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Thousands of Zulu people around Africa, including in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, also recognized the monarch.
He had six wives and 28 children.
As things stand, His late Majesty has six wives namely Mantfombi Dlamini (great wife) Sibongile Winifred Dlamini, Buthle MaMathe, Thandekile Jane Ndlovu, Nompumelelo Mchiza, and Zola Zelusiwe Mafu.
King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, the traditional King of the Zulu people, South Africa’s largest ethnic tribe, receives an annual allowance of about $6 million to cater to the needs of his royal household. He also gets to enjoy other perks like frequent private air travel and keeps an exotic collection of automobiles, all paid for by South Africa’s taxpayers.
King Goodwill Zwelithini of Zulu South Africa reportedly has a net-worth of $19 million
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini of South Africa has died at age 72, his cousin, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a powerful veteran politician who is also a Zulu prince, 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.
The king was admitted to an intensive care unit for diabetes treatment in a KwaZulu-Natal hospital last month, according to local media.
There had been rumors about the Zulu leader’s death since his hospital admission, which his aides had reportedly been denying.