King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu nation in South Africa has died in hospital where he was being treated for diabetes-related issues.
The king, 72, was the leader of South Africa’s largest ethnic group and an influential traditional ruler.
He had been admitted to hospital in KwaZulu-Natal last week to monitor his ongoing diabetes condition.
Throughout his 50 year-reign he was a strong advocate for preserving cultural identity
The king’s prime minister thanked South Africa for its “continued prayers and support in this most difficult time”.